Knicks Coach Resigns While Under Fire From Superstar And Fans
Mike D'Antoni Out For The Count
In the end, not even Lin-sanity was enough to save coach Mike D'Antoni's job.
Jeremy Lin, after leading a six game winning streak wit a team of "scrubs", almost helped Mike D'Antoni dodge the bullet, but a disheartening six game losing streak with the return of superstars Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire and the addition of JR Smith to the lineup led Mike D'Antoni to pull the trigger himself, with Dolan's consent, and resign as head coach according to a report by Yahoo! Sports and confirmed by NBA.com.
Actually, D'Antoni's departure was less a surprise than him hanging around for so long.. It was obvious when the season began, with the departure of Donnie Walsh and the hiring of Mike Woodson as a "defensive specialist" that Mike D'Antoni was on a very short lease (not leash, lease). Reportedly, D'Antoni had rejected the Chicago job because the owners wanted him to allow the hiring of a defense specialist to supplement his "offensive genius." Instead he took the New York job knowing that the first couple of years would be spent restructuring the team to lure a particular free agent -- a move that flopped and resulted in the acquisition of Amar'e Stoudemire to avoid coming up empty handed in the free agency period.
The death knell was probably sent when Mike D'Antoni sat Carmelo and Stat for the fourth quarter of the Bulls game without explanation. A frustrated D'Antoni even failed to use the back-to-back game-need-to-rest-my-stars-excuse. Certainly, Carmelo did not appreciate being benched in front of the home crowd and D'Antoni was finally determined to exercise some leadership. However, apparently his poor communication skills, which have been on display his entire tenure, finally caught up with him and forced his hand.
Dolan is committed to Carmelo Anthony. he was not committed to D'Antoni who was in the last year of a five year contract.
Tonight the Knicks will be coached by Mike Woodson. It will be very interesting to see how he plays his stars and Jeremy Lin since D'Antoni seemed to find the right combinations.