Mike D'Antoni to miss worlds

Updated: August 3, 2010, 8:08 PM ET
By Marc Stein | ESPN.com

New York Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni will not accompany Team USA to the World Championships in Turkey later this summer so he can fully treat an increasingly troublesome back.

Sources told ESPN.com that D'Antoni is not expected to need surgery but has been advised to forsake the considerable international travel Team USA has scheduled this summer. D'Antoni will undergo treatment and rehabilitation to prevent the condition from worsening before the start of NBA training camp in late September.

"I regret not being able to be with the team through the world championship. I wish them the best of luck and I look forward to continuing to work with USA Basketball," said D'Antoni, who is committed to serving on head coach Mike Krzyzewski's staff through the 2012 Olympics.

D'Antoni will be with Team USA throughout its next round of practices next week in New York -- which will be capped by an Aug. 15 exhibition against France at Madison Square Garden -- but then stay behind when the Kevin Durant-led squad heads to Europe for exhibitions in Spain and Greece before the World Championships begin Aug. 28. D'Antoni would then have little time to rest before having to return to Europe, with the Knicks playing preseason games in Italy and France.

A disc problem in D'Antoni's back, sources said, bothered him off and on during the regular season and worsened in recent weeks while D'Antoni was in Las Vegas, first with the Knicks' summer-league squad and then with Team USA.

"We'll miss Mike on our trip, he's been a big part of this program, but we know he'll be with us in spirit. We all realize this is what is best for him and we hope that he's feeling better soon," USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo said in a statement.

Toronto Raptors coach Jay Triano, already a member of the Team USA staff, will take D'Antoni's spot on the bench in Turkey under Krzyzewski. The other assistants are Portland Trail Blazers coach Nate McMillan and Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim.

Triano is an experienced international coach who coached Canada from 1998-2004. He started working with USA Basketball in 2007, coaching the select teams that scrimmaged against the national team. He also ran the Americans' minicamp last summer.

"I've had the chance to work with a lot of these players over the past few years coaching the USA select teams and I'm looking forward to taking the court with them and Coach K in Istanbul," Triano said.

D'Antoni is the second Knick to beg off of Team USA this summer, joining marquee free-agent signee Amare Stoudemire. Stoudemire withdrew at the Knicks' request because of problems insuring his new five-year contract worth nearly $100 million. New York signed Stoudemire even as it acknowledged that it might not be able to secure insurance because of his history of knee and eye injuries.

The U.S. team will resume training next Tuesday in New York.

Marc Stein is a senior NBA writer for ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Marc Stein | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com
• Senior NBA writer for ESPN.com
• Began covering the NBA in 1993-94
• Also covered soccer, tennis and the Olympics

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