Steve Nash Defends Mike D’Antoni

As the New York Knicks’ slide in the standings continues, head coach Mike D’Antoni’s seat only becomes hotter. But according to Steve Nash, who the Knicks are rumored to be chasing next summer, it’s not all his former coach’s fault that the Knicks are awful. Per ZagsBlog: “The Knicks (6-8) have dropped four straight, with their latest loss coming to a Suns team that had lost five in a row, including Tuesday night’s game in Chicago … ‘He’s in a tough position,’ Nash, a two-time NBA MVP who entered averaging 14 points and an NBA-best 10.0 assists, said of D’Antoni. ‘They’ve constantly changed and brought in new people and now that he’s got all these new pieces he hasn’t really had the point guard he’s wanted…so for me it’s been a constant transition and a constant waiting game. Waiting for the Melo trade to happen and free agency they gave away their point guard [Chauncey Billups] to get Tyson [Chandler] and fill up their frontcourt and they have a guy to guard the interior. Now they’re waiting for Baron [Davis] to get healthy, so you know that’s tough. It’s tough not to have that balance full of roster, so I do feel for him.’ The Knicks could get Davis back next week and D’Antoni is basically ready to hand him the starting point guard job as soon as he debuts. ‘If Baron’s healthy he can be the answer for sure,’ Nash said. ‘He’s a terrific player. Very skilled. Can facilitate and score. When he’s healthy, he can play at as high a level as anybody. That’s the big key, if Baron can get healthy he’ll be great here.’ Of course, by next season the Knicks will be in the market for a point guard and Nash, who turns 38 next month, believes he can play at a high level for a few more years. ‘I bet I can play a long time, depending on what role,’ Nash said. ‘I physically feel about as good as I’ve ever felt, so I don’t see any reason why I couldn’t play at this level for a couple more years. It just becomes harder work. It’s a full-time job to stay at this level physically and to recover but as far as just playing in the league, I think I can play for a long time.’ D’Antoni, who clearly longs for the days when Nash, and not rookie Iman Shumpert or past-his-prime Mike Bibby, was his point guard, agrees.”