Mike D’Antoni has agreed to become the new coach of the New York Knicks.
Four years for $24 million.
I think Mark Jackson is probably a better choice, if only because D’Antoni, like Brown, seems better suited for a team that’s already good, but D’Antoni will certainly bring an interesting look to the Knicks. D’Antoni is not a great defensive coach, preferring instead to use offense to beat the other team down into submission with a high volume of high percentage shots. The Knicks’ current talent is almost solely on the offensive end of the court, so I would like to see what a coach like D’Antoni could do with guys like Lee, Balkman and Chandler, all of whom fit well into a fast-paced offense.
True, Curry and Randolph do not translate well into the Phoenix system, but maybe Walsh can find a taker for Randolph and Curry could go to the bench. Then again, D’Antoni was able to work Shaq into his lineups, so maybe he could do something with Curry.
It is not the most conventional coaching arrangement, and I don’t really see what D’Antoni wants with this team, besides the money.
Still, for Knicks fans, this at least gives us a new reason to pay attention to the team. A bit of a jolt, and I think a pretty substantial coup for Donnie Walsh, early in his tenure – picking up the hottest coach on the market.
I wonder what this means for Mark Jackson?
I really like the D’Antoni hiring. I agree that the Bulls would probably be a better fit for him, considering they had a strong team just a year ago. However why should the Knicks let him go to another team (especially one in the same conference) because it’s a better fit of coach & roster?
Hiring D’Antoni goes along with the stabilization of the franchise. We get a GM with a dozen+ years in the league, and a coach that hasn’t won less than 54 games in 4 years. A coach that turned a 29 win team into a Western powerhouse. What are the odds of Mark Jackson ever winning 54 games in a season? How about 60 which D’Antoni has done twice?
As for being a poor match for the roster, I just don’t see it. Any coach would be a poor fit for this Frankenroster. But think about the guys you would keep of the current Knicks. Nate Robinson, Jamal Crawford, Renaldo Balkman, Wilson Chandler, David Lee. Wouldn’t that be a good team to play an uptempo offense with? You might even get Eddy Curry to come off the bench and be productive in a team like that. He can run the floor for a big center, and he can finish & draw fouls.
Since James Dolan has taken sole ownership of the New York Knicks, the team has been in a cycle of mediocrity. At best. They’ve settled for second best and overpaid for it. In players like Jared Jeffries, Jerome James, even Stephon Marbury and Allan Houston. In management and coaching like Isiah Thomas, Scott Layden, and Herb Williams. But now we have a proven coach and a proven GM for the first time since they ran Grunfeld and Van Gundy out of time. (Not including a single good season of Lenny Wilkens, and the disastrous year of Larry Brown).
It may not be the perfect situation, but right now the team is in disarray, and nothing is going to fix it overnight. We have a good core of young players, a competent GM, and maybe one of the league’s better coaches. That’s may be the foundation of a strong team in a couple of years.