Wednesday, March 14, 2012

New York Knicks Coach Mike D'Antoni Goes Bye Bye,Resigns Today

Mike D'Antoni won't finish out the season as the Knicks' coach.
"Today, we have mutually agreed with Mike D'Antoni will no longer coach the Knicks," team owner James Dolan said tonight. "This was not an event that was planned in any way. It just happened." Read more after the jump.......

Dolan said he was called to the team's training facility in Greenburgh after D'Antoni met with interim general manager Glen Grunwald and assistant GM Allan Houston. There, he and D'Antoni spoke and came to the decision.
Assistant Mike Woodson will coach the Knicks tonight when they try to end a six-game losing streak against the Blazers. Yahoo! Sports first reported the news.
"It was a surprise when Mike came in this morning and decided to leave," Woodson said tonight during a pre-game news conference. "There's still a lot at stake here."
The Knicks host the Trail Blazers at 7:30 tonight. When asked how he will coach the game, Woodson said, "It's hard to change right now. I have to get a practice under my belt.
"I feel good about moving forward with this team," Woodson added.
The Knicks have been in a freefall lately, losing six straight, and much has been made about D'Antoni's relationship with Carmelo Anthony. At this morning's shootaround, conducted by D'Antoni, Anthony said he supported his coach "100 percent."
"It's hard to explain why we have struggled," Woodson said. "It's my job as the head coach to get us out of this."
D'Antoni was in good spirits during the morning shootaround and said he was "pretty confident" the Knicks would come out and play hard tonight. He also said it was his job to turn the team around.
"The bottom line is we're not playing well," D'Antoni said. "That's my responsibility. It's in our grasp to change the situation and we have to do that."
D'Antoni was in the last year of a four-year, $24-million contract. He finishes his Knicks career with a 121-167 record. He guided the Knicks to the playoffs last year and coached them to their first winning record since the 2000-01 season.
After the Knicks acquired Tyson Chandler in December, D'Antoni said the Knicks should compete for a championship this season. Putting Chandler up front with Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire seemed to give the Knicks a formidable frontline.
But the Knicks struggled early on, and D'Antoni's job seemed to be in trouble when they lost 11 of 13 games. But then out of desperation, D'Antoni gave Jeremy Lin a chance to run the team and the undrafted point guard from Harvard led the Knicks to seven straight wins.
The Knicks won five of them without Anthony and were 6-1 overall with him sidelined with a groin injury. They have struggled since his return, losing eight of their last 10 games. The Knicks are tied with Milwaukee (18-24) for the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race.
D'Antoni always has been in favor of running a pick-and-roll offense where there is player and ball movement and scoring balance. Lin and the Knicks flourished this way. Anthony is more of an isolation player who needs the ball. The Knicks haven't looked or played much this month like the team they were for most of February.
They've also added J.R. Smith and Baron Davis worked his way back from a back injury. Trying to fit in all these offensive-minded players has hurt the Knicks' chemistry. D'Antoni said this morning he had to figure out how to make it work.
"It's my job to make them fit and to get them to fit and to get them comfortable," he said. "For whatever reason we haven't been able to do that. We keep working at it and we will continue to keep work at it."
It will be Woodson's job to work on it for the rest of the season. Assistant coaches Herb Williams and Kenny Atkinson reportedly will be retained, but Dan D'Antoni and Phil Weber also are gone.
Woodson was hired after last season to help with the Knicks' defense. Woodson coached the Hawks for six seasons, compiling a 206-286 record. They made the playoffs his last three seasons in Atlanta.
The Dolan family owns controlling interest in the Knicks, Madison Square Garden and Cablevision. Cablevision owns Newsday.

via: N.D

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