Report: Mike D’Antoni Has Lost Knicks’ Players Respect

by March 14, 2012

The New York Knicks’ embattled head coach has been making news of late quite a bit, for all the wrong reasons. The latest rumor is that the struggling team has begun to tune out Mike D’Antoni. Per ESPN: “After a remarkable Jeremy Lin-led run that made them the toast of the NBA, the Knicks have lost 8 of their last 10 games. There’s plenty of blame to go around, but while some within the organization are questioning superstar Carmelo Anthony, most of the fingers are being pointed at head coach Mike D’Antoni, according to several sources close to the situation. D’Antoni, hailed as an offensive genius during his successful tenure in Phoenix, has lost the Knicks’ locker room, the sources say. ‘The players like Mike as a person,’ one source said. ‘They think he’s a good guy. But he doesn’t have the respect of the team anymore.’ D’Antoni is in the last year of a four-year deal and all indications are that he will not be brought back after this season; that is, if he survives the rest of this season. The Knicks are expected to make a run at Phil Jackson, who retired from the Lakers last year with 11 NBA titles. But the Knicks, losers of six straight games, still have 24 games left to get through this year, and according to numerous sources close to the team, the reeling club is as dysfunctional in the locker room as it is on the court. In addition to questioning D’Antoni, players are complaining about playing time, and confused about the offensive and defensive schemes.”