This might get awkward! Mike D'Antoni finally has an offseason and training camp to fully engage his offensive alchemy and maximize the Carmelo Anthony-Amar'e Stoudemire swag potential (experts estimate this potential to be upwards of 800 swagvolts). Great things, one would imagine, will come of that extended period of contemplation. While Mr. Coach can be counted on to sex up the offense, folks have some doubts regarding his ability to improve the team's defense, which was ranked 21st in the league in efficiency this season. One obvious way to produce a stingier '11-'12 product is to fetch some defensive players, and Donnie Walsh (once he has his job back) will certainly be busy on that front, both in the draft and with whatever loose change remains in James Dolan's "BASKET TEAM" bank account. Another way to improve the defense would be to hire an assistant coach whose sole office is to coordinate stops. I've heard this suggested around here recently and, well, pretty much everybody who's ever watched D'Antoniball has at least considered the idea. Frank Isola reports that his sources tell him that the Knicks might be considering such a move:
According to several sources, the front office will encourage D'Antoni to revamp his coaching staff to hire a defensive coach. In the past, D'Antoni has been reluctant to seek outside help, most famously refusing Steve Kerr's request four years ago to hire Tom Thibodeau in Phoenix.
Now, this is the same Frank Isola who just yesterday conjured the
rumor "wonder" about D'Antoni fleeing these Knicks to live among the small, springy peoples of the Bay Area (quietly reiterated in this article. Behold the process of rumor inception.), but he is citing sources this time around, so...you know, that's cool. Whether or not you choose to run with this story, the idea of a defensive coordinator has always been enticing, and the idea that the Knicks might "encourage" such a thing is perfectly plausible. Of course, the catch has always been that D'Antoni likes things his way, and as we've seen before, (the "reluctance" Isola mentions amounted to a hasty departure from Phoenix) doesn't take too kindly to meddling. But maybe he's mellowed on that front? Perhaps he's come to terms with his own shortcomings? Maybe he's not ready to cost himself another job over that quibble? Isola presents a list of potential candidates (emphasis on "potential") in the article and, really, any of them sound appealing. The whole notion has long intrigued me, but the key is whether or not it intrigues the Pringles man.