Mike D’Antoni resigns as Knicks coach
Mike D’Antoni has resigned as coach of the New York Knicks, ending his turbulent four-season stay with the franchise.
D’Antoni and Knicks owner James Dolan agreed on Wednesday for D’Antoni to end his stay with the Knicks, a source said. “It was a mutual decision to no longer coach the Knicks … conflicting visions of the club’s future,” the source said.
“He clearly felt it was best for the organization if he were not to continue as coach of the team. He did offer to stay,” Dolan said at a brief news conference before the Knicks’ game against the Portland Trail Blazers Wednesday night. “After a long discussion, we did agree it was best for the organization to have new voice moving forward.”
D’Antoni had clashed with Carmelo Anthony after the trade brought the All-Star forward to the Knicks a year ago, and he could never get Anthony to buy into his system.
The Knicks have lost six consecutive games to nearly drop out of the Eastern Conference playoff race.
Assistant Mike Woodson, who formerly coached the Atlanta Hawks, will take over as the interim coach.
The Knicks enjoyed a brief revival this season after D’Antoni moved Jeremy Lin into the rotation and made him the starting point guard. The Knicks won seven consecutive games from Feb. 4-15, a stretch that almost entirely coincided with Anthony’s absence from the lineup because of a groin injury.
The Knicks have gone just 2-8 since Anthony’s return, losing any of the momentum they gained while he was sidelined. While fans at Madison Square Garden have taken to recently booing Anthony, he told reporters Wednesday he doesn’t want to be traded.
“Dolan is blaming the coach,” said a source with knowledge of the Knicks’ locker-room dynamics. “Tyson [Chandler], Baron [Davis], A’mare [Stoudemire] – guys who came to play for Mike – or that system – are pissed. Lin isn’t happy either.”
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