Mike D'Antoni has accepted an offer to coach the New York Knicks, according to a media reports.
The former Phoenix Suns coach, who was also sought by the Chicago Bulls, has accepted a four-year, $24 million deal to take over the Knicks, according to reports by Sports Illustrated and The Boston Globe, both citing a league source.
The Knicks did not immediately confirm that D'Antoni is New York-bound.
ESPN's Stephen A. Smith had previously reported that the Knicks had outlined a four-year, $24 million offer for D'Antoni.
First of all, you think the Knicks would show me some courtesy after over a year of blogging about them. I was on the road home from school when I got a call from a friend that D'Antoni had been hired. Sorry for the lateness and thanks to JoshL for jumping on the news.
Anyway...that escalated quickly, no? I barely had time to ponder D'Antoni coaching the Knicks before he was named our man. I'm picking up a lot of discontent here and around the blogosphere and that's perfectly understandable. D'Antoni comes across as an easy-going, offensive-minded coach not exactly suited for turning around a flimsy, defensively inept squad. I understand that.
As the optimist, I'd like everyone to remember a few things before we write off Donnie Walsh and the hiring and the future of this team:
1. NBA Coach of the Year 2004-2005.
2. D'Antoni's hiring might mean a roster overhaul that transforms the Knicks into a faster, sleeker, more visually palatable offensive machine. We could be cool again. Imagine that.
3. Conversely, D'Antoni might very well be willing to change his pace a little, surround himself with a good staff, and inspire the Knicks to play defense. He's not that old, not that experienced, and not necessarily dead-set on a certain coaching method. Isn't it possible that he's just a smart guy who knows how to work with his roster?
5. D'Antoni's presence and personal background (Italizan citizenship, time scouting for the Spurs) might inspire the Knicks to finally catch up in overseas scouting. We might have our first meaningful foreign draft pick of my lifetime.
6. In the wake of Isiah, it'll be nice to have a guy who's relatively straightforward and likable and is a good face for the franchise.
7. Seriously, have you seen that mustache?
In short, I understand the displeasure with the move, but why don't we let things take their course before we attack the franchise? I'm as wary as you are, but let's not embody the stereotype of New York fans by being bitchy and fatalistic. Have faith, brethren.