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Ciao D’Antoni

April 24, 2011 Leave a comment

It’s time for Mike D’Antoni to go.

This is not just a reaction to the Knicks’ embarrassing performance in Game 3 against the Celtics –when Bill Walker is your best player you are not going to win in the playoffs– but rather a qualitative assessment of his tenure with the team and in the league. The fact of the matter is New York will not win a championship under his stewardship, and pretending otherwise is a waste of time a franchise that has not won a playoff game in over a decade, and a championship in almost 40 years can afford.

This is nothing any attentive basketball fan didn’t know when he was hired. Even coaching the Suns, the “gentleman thief” could best be described as the Mike Martz of basketball. His offensive philosophy put up points in bunches, and with Steve Nash running the show was certainly a thing of beauty. However his inability or unwillingness to focus the same energy on coaching defense, and more importantly demanding effort on that end ultimately doomed Phoenix’s title chances and has hindered the Knicks’ as well (not that they were a particularly willing bunch to start with).

We knew all this going in, so this isn’t a case of buyer’s remorse; Mike D’Antoni was who we thought he was! No reasonable Knicks fan believed he would lead us to the promised land. At the time, our hope was that the lure of playing in his offense would persuade a big free agent (read; Lebron James) to come to New York and rescue the once proud franchise from the nightmare of the Isiah Thomas era. The day he was signed there were even pipe dreams of winning the lottery and drafting Derrick Rose, and look what Chicago has done with Rose and the right coach. Read more…

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