Mike D’Antoni Unconcerned About Job Security

With Donnie Walsh no longer in the Knicks’ picture, there’s no telling what the future holds for embattled head coach Mike D’Antoni. If he’s worried, D’Antoni is doing a great job of hiding it. From the NY Times: “Three years ago, D’Antoni and Donnie Walsh were handed the seemingly impossible task of resuscitating the moribund Knicks. They were an oddly matched pair, the old-school, defense-first team president and the garrulous, offense-happy coach. The partnership had its bumps, but Walsh and D’Antoni were a formidable team, and they accomplished their primary goal: they restored respectability and hope after the darkest period in franchise history. Now Walsh is on his way out, the latest casualty of Madison Square Garden’s politically charged corporate culture, leaving D’Antoni unprotected and his future uncertain. Transition always brings insecurity. ‘I think that will be determined by the job you do,’ D’Antoni said Saturday in a telephone interview, making his first public comments since Walsh’s decision to step down became public a day earlier. ‘I’m very indebted to Donnie, but at the same time, I got to go forward and get the team to win. That’s my job.’ D’Antoni has one season left on the four-year, $24 million deal he signed in 2008. There are no indications that he is in danger of being fired, but his fate could rest with Walsh’s eventual replacement. James L. Dolan, the Garden chairman, announced Friday that Walsh would leave the organization June 30, when his contract expires — a decision that stunned Walsh’s close friends around the league … D’Antoni was as stunned as anyone. ‘I hate that Donnie stepped down,’ D’Antoni said. ‘I hate that Donnie’s not coming back. He brought me in. We had a great relationship for three years, and he did exactly what he told me was his plan to do.’ … D’Antoni could seek his own extension, although it seems more likely that he will coach next season without the long-term security. ‘I’ve done it before; I can do it again,’ he said. ‘My mind-set right now is just next year to have a great year. That’s all. Nothing else should matter to the players or should matter to me — just have a great year.’ Asked about an extension, D’Antoni said, ‘It’s way too early to even comment on it.'”