Mike D'Antoni was reportedly hired by the New York Knickerbockers to a 4-year, $24-million deal. He leaves the Phoenix Suns, one of the most successful teams in the last 5 years. Far be it from me to tell a man not to take the money someone's willing to pay. And the money is not the reason this move is horrible. The reasons this move is horrible for D'Antoni is because he's going TO THE KNICKS! THE FREAKING KNICKS!
The Knicks are the most dysfunctional team in the world. Little Jimmy Dolan runs the team like a Stalinist state, encouraging conspiracy theories and pretending the outside world doesn't exist. Little Jimmy is the worst owner in the league, by far. And not because he spends too much but because he's blinded by celebrity. The roster assembled by Isiah Thomas (the object of Little Jimmy's affection) is a collection of me-first players who shoot for their own stats. I can't help but think that they're going to be only too happy to shoot in 7 seconds or less. D'Antoni's system will lead to a lot of stat-padding and very little defense. The Knicks will lose a lot of 130-100 games next year.
D'Antoni is a good, but not great coach. He doesn't spend enough time on defense and I can't imagine that changing this upcoming season. I can't imagine him having the same offensive success without a PG as smart as Steve Nash (and, like it or not, all you haters who write to Ian Thomsen, Steve Nash is very good and very, very smart). I think this will end very, very badly unless Donnie Walsh (who is similarly overrated) finds D'Antoni a PG. Because smart PGs just grow on trees, right?
A far better fit for D'Antoni would have been Toronto. Hilariously, though, the Suns allowed him to talk to any team EXCEPT Toronto. Guess Sarver (who's also a bad owner, but that's another post entirely) really, really holds a grudge. Since Toronto was off-limits, D'Antoni should've called the Suns' bluff and stayed on, giving it one more shot with a healthy Shaquille O'Neal. And, if Sarver didn't want that, he could've taken the buy-out/firing and worked for anyone he wanted or taken a year off. I think D'Antoni and his agent blew this, unless something very bad that I don't know about happened behind the scenes (entirely possible) that prompted D'Antoni to leave ASAP. With all that said, he should've gone somewhere else. The Knicks are going to be horrible for at least 2 more years.