Tuesday, August 30th, 2011 at 9:15 am  |  11 responses

Mike D’Antoni Knows He’s on the Hot Seat

With the New York media continually insinuating that the Knicks’ new defensive-minded assistant coach Mike Woodson might be in line for Mike D’Antoni’s job should the team struggle next season (assuming there’s a season), D’Antoni acknowledged the precarious nature of his position. From the NY Post: “When [Donnie] Walsh backed out of a verbal agreement to return next season, D’Antoni’s status appeared in trouble. But owner Jim Dolan agreed to bring D’Antoni back, but without an extension, as the Knicks still don’t have a permanent president in place. Glen Grunwald, a college teammate of Woodson’s at Indiana, is interim president, and recommended Woodson to D’Antoni. ‘I think all coaches are on a one-year deal,’ D’Antoni said on a conference call. ‘It’s whether you get a paid vacation, but we all have to do something to earn another year, especially with the Knicks. It’s not like they have to keep [you] around because they’re financially strapped. We have to produce. Whether it’s one or 10, it doesn’t matter. It’s going to come down to next year.’ Explaining the Woodson move, D’Antoni admitted the expectations are the Knicks must do better than last season when they were swept by Boston in the first round of the playoffs. ‘I’m on a one-year deal, and we could have a quick turnaround,’ D’Antoni said, referring to free agency and training camp. ‘It’s a special type situation. We got the best of everything. Head-coaching experience was very important to have the respect of the players. We got to have a better team next year. It’s good to have someone who’s been through it already, knowing what I need.’”

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  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    Knicks should have gotten Avery Johnson for coach when had a chance. I actually see Jeff Van Gundy coming back to the Knicks, to turn them into a playoff team. BOOK IT!!

  • RunNGun

    This is insanely absurd. Walsh and D’Antoni were the best things to happen to this franchise in years.

  • Kilo

    Mike did not get a far shake in New York. They YELLED rebulding his whole tenure.

  • http://gmail.com z

    Honestly, I really think that if mike can’t get this team outta the first round of the playoffs this season (i know i know–please let there be a season…are you there god? it’s me, z) then he doesn’t deserve to come back. I’m from nyc, and i remember what seemed like the glory years of jvg, spree, and houston–that’s the level that the knicks should be at, bare minimum this season. They’ve got plenty of talent, if they don’t put it together then mike deserves to go.

  • MikeC.

    @Z – the glory years of JVG, Spree and Houston? A fluke run to the Finals (I’m a huge NYK fan, and that run was a fluke) followed by mediocrity at best? Those years doomed the Knicks for a decade. What NY needs is a long-term plan with competent people to make it happen. Walsh and D’Antoni did the dirty work. Last year was D’Antoni’s first in NY with a roster of actual real NBA players. That roster got demolished in the Melo trade. More talent came back, but chemistry and clear-cut roles left. This team needs some depth and a training camp. D’Antoni ate the turd sandwich of clearing cap room and he deserves at least a couple years to work with an real NBA-quality lineup in NY before he gets tossed on the trash pile.
    @The Seed – the Lil General would be an awful fit with this roster. He would have worked well with the 90′s Knicks, but this roster would drive him bonkers. D’Antoni is the best fit. Or George Karl.

  • Darren

    Are ppl really thinking that Woodson is being groomed to take over as HC? I’d prefer D’Antoni than that; dont let him go unless there’s a top coach available.

  • http://twitter.com/HarryByrdMan44 LA Huey

    NYK fans should be glad. If he’s around for the long haul, they’ll just be on the outside of Heat-Bulls rivalry in the East for the next decade.

  • MikeC.

    @LA Huey – after the last decade of putrid trash that I’ve been forced to endure, just being in the mix feels nice nowadays.

  • http://twitter.com/HarryByrdMan44 LA Huey

    ^Haha. I understand what you mean. However, it’s the players Walsh acquired that give you the potential to be great, not anything D’Antoni brought.

  • MikeC.

    ^We don’t know what D’Antoni can really bring yet. In my opinion, this upcoming season is his first in NY that’s not a clear-cut rebuilding and cap management season. There are some real players now, and new CBA-permitting, depth is on the way via free agency. I give coach a 2 year window to show progress in the playoffs. Winning a championship is just not realistic with the current roster, so we all just need to chill and watch the team grow. D’Antoni’s offense is pretty fun to watch in the meantime.

  • http://SportsCipher.com Jaamal Braithwaite

    I actually thought Mark Jackson would have made a good fit for the Knicks. But I hope the addition of Mike Woodson on the coaching staff will actually help my Knicks. I told everyone last year we was making it to the playoffs. If the season starts on time, we get a full season of Melo and Amare together. We will be making the next step pretty soon.