I was in New York last night, my business now has me lving in DC, and I decided to stop in to one of my favorite haunts. Where a guy was going on and on about Donnie's biggest mistake. Gotta light a fresh cigar so lets go to the jump
Well this guy was going on and on about how he cannot believe that Donnie would "fuck it up like that," so I told him I thought the Jordan Hill trade was not that bad, and dude snapped back, "I am not talking about any trade, I am talking about hiring D'Antoni as coach." Well the guy went on and on about why Walsh should not have hired D'Antoni and now I am convinced that Donnie needs to do the right thing by the Knicks and fire D'Antoni before the start of the season.
Here are the fellows arguments:
1. D'Antoni does not know how to use his roster he only plays 8 guys, and won't play other guys even if they can help the team win. Well I did some looking around and found this,“I have my in-group I trust and my out-group I don’t, and if you’re out it takes a long time to get back in,” D’Antoni says. That is unacceptable, how dare a coach say he decides who plays and who doesn't, and it is beyond the pale as all good coaches in the NBA play 10-12 guys a night. Donnie should have known this.
2. D'Antoni is a one trick pony and does not know how to alter his style to fit the talent on his roster, like all good coaches do. And I looked again and here it is in Mike D'Antoni's own words. “I know one way to play, and it’s worked for me since high school: Push the ball up. Space the floor. Shoot before the defense gets set. Once you understand it, it’s easy as hell. But, and here’s the catch: You need skill guys to play it, and skill,” he intones, “isn’t the same as talent.” Now there are two things that are troubling about this statement, number one he admits that he can only coach one style, and number two he admits that he is coaching a high school offense. And Everyone knows that the game of basketball in the NBA completely different to high school basketball, after all even taking a charge is completely different in high school than in the NBA, and a coach can't possibly win with an offense that worked in high school.
3. D'Antoni has no respect for centers and even if we had Dwight Howard and Tim Duncan he wouldn't play them, so we are always going to be an undersized team, and everybody Knows you need 7 footers to win in the NBA. D'Antoni cops to this charge too, here he is again in his own words,“People call it small ball, and that pisses me off. It’s skill ball, plain and simple. I’d start two 7-footers if they could run and shoot. But better five midgets than stiffs who can’t push it, and I’ll live with how many we give up." Look at the Lakers, they have two 7 footers on the court virtualy at all times, everybody knows the team that plays the most 7 footers wins! Secondly, his thinking here is unrealistic, in today's NBA no real coach values centers for their skills, especially offensive skills, so the fact that most 7 foot type centers do not have the skills he is looking for is dumb. You need to play them because everybody else starts at least two seven footers.
4. D'Antoni does not preach defense or care about it. Again D'Antoni openly admits that defense does not matter when he says, "As we said in Phoenix, the team with the most points is the one that played the best defense.” With thinking like that, it is a wonder that D'Antoni even requires his players to run down to the defensive end of the floor. But then again, somebody has got to inbound the ball so the team can play offense. I mean seriously, what was Donnie thinking, hiring a coach who actually believes that, the team with the most points wins the game and therefore that means they played the best defense!
5. Last but not least D'Antoni is stubborn and will not accpet feedback from management even though it would make the team better. He actually had the nerve to say," When bad things happen and naysayers pipe up and management ‘suggests’ that you post up more and commit more to defense, that’s when I climb up on the rooftop and say, No, bullshit, I won’t change,” he says. “I am who I am, and I’ll be that guy till they ship me back to Italy.” Can you believe the cajones on this guy? Everybody knows that Phil Jackson, Greg Popovich, and Jerry Sloan allow the GM's to tell them how to coach the team. Can you believe what an insubordinate prick Donnie hired.
So if you are reading this Donnie, you need to fix this right now. You need to fire D'Antoni and hire a coach that will do the following:
1. Play 10-12 guys a night
2. Has no system at all but decides what style to play based on what the players want or can do. This would make your life easier Donnie because you could just bring in any old guys rather than trying to find skilled players who could play D'Antoni's system.
3.Find a coach who will play 2 seven footers at all times, no matter how slow, plodding, and unskilled they are.
4. DEFENSE, Defense, defense!!!!!!!! You got it Donnie.
5. Lastly you need a guy who wants and needs you to micromanage his every move. I know you are old school Donnie, but get with the times, the days of I hire the coach and let him coach are over. Look at Steve Kerr, he calls Alvin Gentry's defensive sets. Danny Ainge made Doc Rivers hire Tom Thibodeau and then quiet as it is kept tells Thibodeau what defenses to run. That is what you need to do Donnie.
So there you have it, we need to fire D'Antoni. Nw Donnie I suggest that you John Calipari after all, he plays alot of guys, and if he ever had two seven footers he damn sure would play them, he has no offensive system to speak of but kind of does what the players want. He believes in defense, and since his strength has always been in finding talent, not coaching it, he is willing to wear the suit and look good on the bench while you coach the team from behind the scenes. What do you say Donnie, be man enough to admit you made a mistake.