The New York saga of Mike D’Antoni was a fascinating one. This man, exiled from the desert, came east to the concrete jungle, in an attempt to bring a once glorious franchise from the doldrums of the NBA. In 2008, D’Antoni took on a monumental challenge by coming to New York. Sure, the Knicks paid D’Antoni $24 million over 4 years, but the situation in which he was entering was among the worst in professional sports. From 2001 through the 2007-2008 season, the Knickerbockers accumulated a record of 218-356. They had gone though 7 head coaches, 2 general managers and 1 sexual harassment lawsuit. The Knicks were the NBA’s version of Gommorah. Madison Square Garden had become a wasteland in which careers and reputations came to die. More
Tonight’s game just didn’t feel right.
It was weird for me to see the Knicks do well without head coach Mike D’Antoni. Today was a weird day. D’Antoni’s “resignation” seemed like a culmination of years of failure from the Knicks franchise. It was just another example of a coach (Larry Brown, Lenny Wilkens, Isiah Thomas) being run out of Madison Square Garden in a negative light. Many Knicks fans celebrated. I did not. Even if I was a D’Antoni hater, I would not have celebrated. There is nothing to celebrate. A good head coach lost his job today. Despite when you think about D’Antoni, you had to root for him as a Knick fan. His “resignation” symbolized how much of a true failure this season has been for the Knicks. This was a team with championship aspirations. This was a team that was projected by some, including myself, to win 42-46 games. The 2011 season has been a complete failure for the Knicks. They were the 9th seed in the East coming into tonight’s game. I’m not putting a lid on this team’s ceiling for this year. They may make a run, who knows. My point is that this season has been a complete disaster and the “resignation” of Mike D’Antoni just symbolizes continued dysfunction at Madison Square Garden.
Tonight’s game means little in the big picture of these organization. Sure, they destroyed the equally dysfunctional Trail Blazers, who played the second game of a back to back, but it really doesn’t mean much. Teams often play well after a drastic change or trade. Look at Golden State last night, they lost Ellis and blew out the Kings. I don’t quite get why that happens but it happens. I want to see the Knicks play like this against Indiana on Friday.
I’m not going to go into more about my feelings on D’Antoni. I am currently writing a D’Antoni post that will be up tomorrow. More