Tuesday, February 10th, 2009 at 9:00 am  |  32 responses

Blame Mike D’Antoni …

by Marcel Mutoni

… For the Knicks’ dramatic last-second loss to the Portland Trail Blazers from a couple of nights ago. You see, New York’s bench boss knows he screwed up at crunch time, when he failed to instruct his guys to foul Brandon Roy.

From the NY Times comes the rarest of things — someone in a position of power on the Knicks actually admitting to their mistake:

D’Antoni said it was not until a reporter asked a question during the postgame interview that he realized the Knicks had a foul to use. On most teams, that responsibility lies with an assistant or a trainer, because the coach has many other things to worry about in crunch time. But D’Antoni said: “I’m the guy. It’s my fault. So I should know.”

He delivered the same message to his players on the flight to San Francisco on Sunday night. “A position like that, why wouldn’t you foul?” D’Antoni said, clearly chagrined. “Probably won’t happen again. Can’t swear to it. But I messed up.”

After throwing himself under the bus, D’Antoni then came to David Lee’s defense, after the forward took criticism from Jeff Van Gundy during a nationally-televised game: “I don’t think that you got a guy with 37 double-doubles or whatever he has, competing every night and playing as hard as he can, that you can say he doesn’t care,” D’Antoni said. “That’s nuts.”

Not exactly hard to tell why Coach Mike is so popular with players around the L.

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  • Ken

    Before opening this, I thought it was going to be: “blame Mike D for the downfall of the Suns.”

  • Ken

    Oh, and I think the Knicks are doing amazingly well under Mike D this year. If they didn’t have all that roster turnover and medical drama associated with their trades (which is beyond his control), they’d be solidly in the playoff hunt in the east now.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    I usually agree with JVG, but his Lee comment was off-target.

  • http://lastknickstanding.blogspot.com Bryan

    I think van gundy was out of line and Mark Jackson agreed with him too.

  • T Money

    Now if only Mike D would apologise for never instructing his team to play defense…

  • T Money

    Now if only Mike D would apologise for Steve Nash’s ‘tainted’ MVP’s…

  • T Money

    Now if only Mike D would apologise for Shawn Marion not being considered the Suns’ best player…

  • T Money

    Now if only Mike D would apologise for Diaw and Stoudemire leaving the bench…

  • riggs

    there should be a comment limit.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    If Mike fixed his bad caps….the Knicks might get some good luck on their side.

  • http://www.friendster.com/sesa Sesa

    At least one of the knicks management had the guts to take the blame

  • http://www.twofistedpress.com Pve84

    I think that Lee’s comments, although they didn’t show an uber-competive spirit that some coaches/players crave, were ridiculously accurate. The New York Knicks played the League’s 3 best teams in rapid succession and they were all relatively close games with the largest final score spread being 9 against the lakers. For an organization that has struggled for years like the Knicks have, that is a pretty good 0-3 week.

  • http://www.slamonline.com GotHandles?

    There is no such thing as a pretty good 0-3 week. Yes, they didn’t suck (always nice to see) but their winning percentage was ZERO, therefore the week sucked.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    I’m siding with JVG on this one, this is the pros : there are no moral victories. Honestly, would you care if your favorite team went on a 5 game losing streak with all the games going down to the wire? Hell no! And the fact that he has 37 double-doubles HAS NOTHING to do with the argument. Losing obviously doesn’t hurt him anymore and that’s too bad.

  • Todd Spehr

    After what David Lee has endured the last few years, playing in that environment, he’s probably elated to be in the position that he’s in. You mean basketball is supposed to be fun?

  • Jess

    haha same here Ken

  • http://double-technical.blogspot.com Zee!

    Jeff Van Gundy is the embodiment of bitter….

  • http://www.ravingblacklunatic.blogspot.com Allenp

    Al Harrington mentioned a “feel good loss” and the New York Media went after his butt. I wonder if the response was the same after David Lee made his comments?
    I’m guessing not.


    Come back to Phx Mike D’Antoni!!! Terry Porter is not even half the coach you are!!!

  • http://www.rich-imaging.com Dutch Rich

    I was so angry after what JVG said and Action Jackson agreeing, when they usually never agree, that I changed channels.

  • http://www.rich-imaging.com Dutch Rich

    @ Z.
    Sure they didn’t triumph, but in the right environment you learn from failure. The Knicks held their own that week. They have nothing to be ashamed of after what they’ve been through. All these generalization. Please!! Look at that ish in context man. I’m still pissed off!

  • Caleb

    David Lee is a great player and always plays hard… so who cares?

  • Robe

    I thought that what Van Gundy said about David Lee’s comments were unwarranted and he should have kept them to himself not fully understanding the situation. I felt Lee was saying that it was the best losing week he had had, because the knicks for a change were competitive the entire week and showed effort. In the recent past when faced with adversity of that kind they easily would fold compound their misfortune with a lack of effort. I’m not a D’antoni fan but for one reason or another the Knicks are a different team. Although that’s not very hard following Isiah and an overrated coach in Larry Brown.

  • http://www.ravingblacklunatic.blogspot.com Allenp

    DAvid Lee is great?
    Really, we’re going that far?

  • http://www.sprint.com/sero dma

    theres more to this “apology”. he says i take the blame for 1 loss. they still lost the other 20 something..

  • http://theghostofroyhobbs.blogspot.com Mo Charlo

    Allenp is reading between the lines, as usual.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    I have the same post in moderation. Taking out some bad words…

    They have nothing to be ashamed of after what they’ve been through. 2:25p
    They have nothing to boast about either.

    the knicks for a change were competitive the entire week and showed effort.
    Cookies? Do you think they’d be hungry for cookies? Well, they deserved it for sustaining effort in 3 consecutive losses.

    Serious, guys… If I were part of that team, I’d have a word with Harrington and Lee. What they basically said is that losing is aight as long as you don’t get @ssr@ped. You know what that makes them? Losers. I’m still riding with JVG.

  • Do Work

    Z, i can see you being the dude at the local rec center who chucks the ball down the court after he loses a pick-up game and then yells at his teammates as if his life depended on that game.

  • http://www.rich-imaging.com Dutch Rich

    If you are a team with that kind of record then you can be happy with certain losses just like you can be unsatisfied with a certain win. Nothing wrong with that. I don’t think anybody was boasting. JVG is just the epitomy of a bad teacher. (whattup Sam). That’s why he’s in the sound booth. Losers?! There are 98 shades between black and white. Some men are CEO’s and some pick up garbage. Some garbage men one day become CEO’s. Advice; don’t have kids, don’t gamble and lay off the cookies.

  • http://www.basketballnonsense.com Melvin

    d’antoni is really such a nice guy.. seriously, this knicks team can get into the playoffs this year…

  • Mike D’Antoni

    Hey, I had the balls to admit it and atleast i’m turning this hell hole around. Nobody in the seats of new york care if we win right now, it’s all about 2010 baby. If not Lebron I know Bosh isn’t happy and despite whether Amare gets traded or not, you don’t think he wouldn’t want me coaching him or not? Get real guys, the Knicks will be back.

  • chintao

    ^ F— you. You also drafted Gallinari. That said, big respect for taking the weight on this latest gaffe. I’m sure plenty more character-building opportunities are on the way, courtesy of your errors. Also, Allenp is right again.