Wednesday, March 14, 2012

D'Antoni Resigns

Since the return of Carmelo Anthony, the NY Knicks have been 2-6 and it seems like this team that was thriving during the early days of Linsanity had Melo-ed out. This also coincided with the Knicks schedule becoming a little tougher and seeing Lin have some issues that most rookies would have. Unfortunately, instead of patience ruling the days, head coach Mike D'Antoni resigned.

Once again, the Knicks decide to panic over showing prudence. If D'Antoni stays for the season, perhaps they can regain the chemistry that was there during Anthony's injury. Perhaps Anthony, knowing that all of NYC has begun to turn on him, would become a team player in these proceedings. Instead, the Knicks front office have a "sky is falling" mantra and now they have probably made things worse for Melo here as the label "coach-killer" will be used to describe him. Unless of course, the Knicks plan to trade Melo in the next 24 hours.

So this is the end of the Mike D'Antoni Era; one which he should have never taken part in when the choice of jobs was Chicago when they were about to draft Derrick Rose (yes, he chose his team before the Draft Lottery, but he could have waited until then) and New York. He had two years which he seemingly could do nothing wrong since Donnie Walsh was more concerned with creating cap space for 2010. However, it seemed like D'Antoni wasn't getting the same treatment as he was continually criticized for the lack of defense the team had and that no matter which good players came into town after 2010, they wouldn't win if D'Antoni was coach.

The Mike D'Antoni Era ends without seeing the full potential of the system that had the Phoenix Suns at the cusp of a championship for three years. Always remember that the Suns never won because of Joe Johnson's injury in 2005, their cheap owner letting Johnson and Quentin Richardson go, while selling first round picks year after year, and Robert Horry checking Steve Nash into the scorers table when they were about to take control of their series with the Spurs in 2007. The Knicks only saw the positives with D'Antoni twice; the first half of 2009-10 before Jim Dolan decided to ruin it all to get Carmelo too soon and the first nine games of Linsanity, where Jeremy Lin looked the part of Steve Nash and the unselfishness was contagious.

Mike Woodson takes over as coach and unless something incredible happens, he won't be coach for a long time. Instead of building their way to a winner, what we now see of the Knicks is a team once again finding the fork in the road. And do Knicks fans really want Jim Dolan and Glen Grunwald, who we learned turned down this trade as GM of the Raptors, to decide that future. I know I don't.

As for D'Antoni, I know he'll be back in the NBA and he will do well in a less pressurized environment. His system can work in this league with the right point guard and as long as there some quality defensive players on the roster (like Tyson Chandler and Iman Shumpert showed here), an NBA title isn't a ridiculous thought. Best of luck Mike.

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