FanPost

Why it may be time for D'Antoni to say goodbye

Whenever you make a decision there are risks involved. D'Antoni took a very big risk to come to NY to coach the Knicks and frankly he has come up snake eyes.



Prior to accepting the job as the head coach of the New York Knicks, D'Antoni was considered one of the top innovative coaches in the league. His Phoenix teams played an entertaining brand of basketball and piled up the wins as well. During the 4 years he spent in Phoenix his teams averaged 58 wins a season. Really his only sin was that he could not get past the San Antonio Spurs which is no crime. The 2003-2008 Spurs will go down in history as one of the 5 greatest teams since the NBA/ABA merger.

Then he fueded with Steve Kerr and Sarver. For the record Mike D'Antoni was not fired in Phoenix, he asked to be let out of his contract. Had he chosen to, the man probably could still be coaching the Suns. How do I know that, because after Terry Porter crashed and burned trying to be the anti-D'Antoni, Kerr put former D'Antoni assistant Alvin Gentry in charge and his first order of business was to say, "let's do what D'Antoni do!" D'Antoni also could have coached the Chicago Bulls, who wanted him so bad the they hired Vinny Del Negro for no other reason than he used to be a D'Antoni assistant.

Well he came here and a coach used to winning 50 games as a matter of principle, had to endure two seasons where he lost 50 games by design. The problem with that is that while D'Antoni was never really given a chance to compete, the records still count and his reputation as a coach took a severe hit. In fact, the only thing the man had left was the fact that he was still considered a good offensive coach. In his first two seasons with the Knicks the man's teams finished 4th and 10th in points scored respectively. That is right, the Knicks were a top 10 offense with Duhon running the point and such future hall of famers as Al Harrington, David Lee, and Larry Hughes as his primary weapons. All that BS about Steve Nash made D'Antoni should blow away the minute it gets pointed out that the Knicks routinely scored over 100 points a game and finished in the top 10 in scoring with Chris Duhon running the point! D'Antoni had the 2nd best scoring offense in the league with Raymond Felton (who was considered a mediocre point guard prior to getting with D'Antoni and has been mediocre since leaving D'Antoni) running the offense. So clearly the man must know something about coaching offense as he has been able to get scrubs and borderline scrubs to score points. Well along comes Carmelo Anthony, who appears to be singlehandedly focused on taking even that last shred of dignity from that man. The Knicks average 94.3 points per game (the lowest total of any D'Antoni coached team ever! D'Antoni managed to get his Denver team to score more points and that was a team where his top four scorers missed most of the season, and he was playing a bunch of guys on 10 day contracts 30 minutes a game.

Game after game he has a team that routinely fails to do even the basic things he preaches. Spread the floor, move the ball, move yourself, find the open man. It is not so much that is offense is not working, as it is that his team is not even trying to run his offense, and appears to have turned a deaf ear to his pleading. To make things worse they are making a mockery of the man's coaching. The Knicks are one of the worst 3pt shooting teams in the league, yet they are one of the teams that shoot it the most. The coach best noted for his long diatribes against isolation offense, has a team that isos the most in the league. A coach that preaches move the ball and find the open man, has a team that is near the bottom in team assists. A coach who preaches making smart decisions with the ball and taking high percentage shots, has a team that leads the league in boneheaded play and does not see any problem launching contested jumpshot after contested jumpshot and as a result is one of the worst shooting teams in the league and one with the highest turnovers.

Now the reason he should consider handing in his resignation is, he appears to have given up. He has placed all of his eggs in the Baron Davis basket, hoping that in Davis he will have at least one person committed to playing the game the way he wants it played and that maybe he can use him to get through to the others. But a point guard can only do so much, that point guard still needs others to listen to the coach and buy into what he is teaching. I fear that all that will happen is Baron Davis will come in try to run things the way the coach wants, get frustrated and just chuck like everyone else.

D'Antoni needs to cut his losses and get out. He and he should move on and go somewhere where he can coach the game the way he wants, with an organization that will get him players that will play the way he wants. D'Antoni had that last season for 54 games. If he stays, he will never have that here again. He realized that last season. People conveniently forget that he asked for permission to talk to Golden State, Toronto, and Minnesota about their head coaching positions. You forget that all three teams asked the Knicks for permission to talk to D'Antoni and were denied. When Donnie Walsh got fed up and got out, D'Antoni tried to get out. That is why I laugh at all of you fire D'Antoni guys, he doesn't want to be here anymore than you want him here. But like he said in an interview, "I am a coach, I really do not have any other hobbies so as long as I can do that I will do it."

Do yourself a favor Mike, get out while you still have some dignity. Sacramento has a young athletic roster, Ted Leonsis has John Wall in DC, both jobs will be open, and both owners would jump at the chance to hire you. Hell I am in DC and Ernie Grunfeld all but has you hired when you get fired here. Those owners will stay out of your hair because your style is entertaining and puts asses in seats. Both teams have young athletic point guards you can mold in your image, and the GM's are clueless so they will draft whomever the hell you tell them to. Save yourself Mike. Resign!

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