Steve Nash lauds Rockets' potential Coach of the Year Mike D'Antoni

If anybody knows what it’s like to play under Mike D’Antoni, it’s Steve Nash.

The rapport between the coach-player duo began in Phoenix, where Nash thrived as the floor general for D’Antoni’s Suns, utilizing his passing prowess and proficiency from the perimeter to orchestrate one of the most aesthetically pleasing, high-octane offenses in NBA history. Nash won back-to-back MVPs (2005, ’06), D’Antoni was named Coach of the Year (2005), and together, although a championship eluded them, the duo compiled a 232-96 regular-season record over four seasons (2004-08).

Four seasons later, D’Antoni and Nash joined forces again — this time in Los Angeles. D’Antoni inherited a Lakers team that was built to win a championship, but injuries and clashing personalities led to a brief-but-tumultuous tenure. D’Antoni left Laker Land after two seasons and a 67-87 record. Nash, in his late 30s and plagued by injuries, retired after three.

Fast forward to today. Nash is keeping an eye on his former coach, who has done more than just redeem himself after failed stints with both the Lakers and the New York Knicks (2008-12). Hired by Houston over the summer, D’Antoni has led the Rockets to a 51-24 record, the No. 3 seed in the West and, as a result, has found himself at the forefront of the Coach of the Year conversation.

GALLERY: Steve Nash through the years

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