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D'Antoni's Resignation: A Depressing Inevitability

Mar 16, 2012 • 1 comment • 437 views

A brief summary of the Knicks' recent history A.I. (After Isiah) goes as follows:

-Mike D'Antoni hired May 13, 2008

-Knicks in a two-year tanking period to get Lebron (Exit Z-Bo, Starbury, Crawford and more)....they don't get Lebron

-Knicks improve under D'Antoni's system: Felton, Gallo, Amar'e, Wilson Chandler, Landry, etc.

-Melodrama-->the arrival of Carmelo

-Knicks struggle adjusting to playing with Melo

-Brief playoff appearance

-Knicks struggle with injuries, ineffectiveness to open the season

-Linsanity (8-1) brings Knicks back to respectability

-Melo's return from injury runs over the success of Linsanity (3-8 as of this post)

-D'Antoni resigns March 14, 2012


D'Antoni found consistent success with the Suns because of a Hall of Fame point guard (Steve Nash) running a specific system with a bunch of athletes and shooters who played much better in that specifc system with that specific point guard.


Here's why Linsanity was so interesting and entertaining: for just a brief two weeks--once Lin was inserted into the lineup and Melo was out with an injured groin--D'Antoni's Knicks looked like his old Suns. Lin drove, Lin dished, Lin made other players better. The Knicks moved the ball and were a fun team to watch. They won 8 of 9 and returned to .500.


D'Antoni's system is not an isolation, superstar-centric system. The Knicks have recently made a lot of moves as questionable as those of the Isiah Thomas era. To me, if you hire a coach known for running a point guard-initiated fast-flowing offense, you don't go out and get the biggest ball stopper there is! Melo does not dish like Lin can, and he does not make his teammates better like Lin does. While "Coming Home" by Diddy Dirty Money may have been a catchy tune for Melo's return to his hometown of NYC, it grew old with every post on Facebook and every Melo 30-footer or lapse in defense.


D'Antoni was burdened with Melo, the high pressure of New York fans, and even the New York Post's hounding criticism. It became apparent that his resignation (or eventual firing) was inevitable. It is my belief that D'Antoni is a fantastic coach (albeit solely an offensive coach) when he has the correct tools: a) A Front Office to give him full support with draft picks, signings, and trades that fit his system, b) players that buy into that system, and c) a fan base that does not overreact to failures to live up to incredible expectations. In the end, D'Antoni had none of the three, and was pressured into accepting the Melo trade and then into resigning. He deserved better. Now the Knicks will go as far as Melo can take them on his lazy shoulders.

Love the post. Very well written, but I must say that there are a few things that caught my attention. First there's the whole Lin thing. Let's get this straight the Knicks were never a good team. Those few wins they got with Lin was nothing. The teams they beat were not impressive teams at the time to begin with and that includes my boy Kobe's team. What was never mentioned is that when Lin played against a solid PG, he played below average, which is his true nature. What came from this is that people got caught up in the hype. The Knicks are what they have always been, an under achieving team.

Second is the Melo thing. Melo has been in the league for around 8 years now totally destroying cats on a nightly bases. My point is that Melo has never been known to put his mark on defense and this is what made him who he is today. What I find surprising is that so many editors are writing Melo down. The fact of the matter is it's about the front office and you touched on that point very well.

What I did miss from it was that Chauncy Billups thing. He was the key point for the Knicks. Yes they gave up a lot to get Melo, but the plus side was the Knicks got Chauncy too who is a proven leader at the PG position. When the Knicks lost Chauncy they lost all hope in my opinion. I say this because Chauny is the PG that can control players like Melo and Amari as in giving them the ball when and where they need it and not always when they want it.

Here are some facts. MJ, Kerr, MJ Harper, Fisher and Kobe to name a few are examples of the greatest players who are ball dominate. We all know with ball dominate players you need a PG who knows when to defer away from them because not ever shot is a good shot. As it would be with most PG's of today. If the PG's are not the alpha males of the team then the PG's are not going to have too much to do with controlling the ball. That's not to say that Kerr or Fisher were the alpha males of their team, but the had the respect of the alpha male of their team so it made it possible for them to be able to defer away from them at times with no or very little down talk.

I will leave you with this Mike D'Antoni got played big time! As for the Knicks they still need a PG and it is not Melo's fault that the Knicks are not winning. Just remember that when Melo was with Denver and doing his thing with Chauncy nobody had anything to say about the way he played!!!
03.16.12 •
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