|Credit: Ben Solomon; New York Times|
So here we go again.
Another year. Another dilemma. More reasons to rant.
This time, my beloved New York Knicks have decided to part ways (I know you don't believe D'Antoni resigned) with Mike D'Antoni as their head coach. Following D'Antoni out the Garden door are his close friends and assistant coaches, Dan D'Antoni (his brother) and Phil Weber.
Now of course, this all follows the recent news this morning of Carmelo Anthony claiming to want a trade, and then pushing for the removal of D'Antoni and his infamous offensive system.
It is no secret that the Knicks have been playing atrociously as of late.
And while I in no way am a huge fan of Carmelo Anthony right now (more on him in just a bit), I do feel it was time this team needed a new voice. I liked D'Antoni, and I'm a believer in his system. I've seen it work when players buy into it. For fifty-plus games last year, we witnessed a group of Raymond Felton, Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, and Amar'e Stoudemire overachieve under it.
He's made players better, and let's not have short-sighted memory, Linsanity never happens under any other coach.
However, with the pressure now on to win with a loaded roster and a "superstar" that refused to buy in, D'Antoni's job became tougher. Balancing eleven worthy rotational players and a player that refused to let the system work, D'Antoni's job was slipping away daily.
D'Antoni also contributed with his suspect substituting and very lax attitude on holding players accountable.
Regardless, D'Antoni put up with a lot during a tough time which included two years of trades for salary cap room, a major trade that shook-up a growing team, two divas in Anthony and Stephon Marbury, and a never ending revolving door of players in four years.
D'Antoni is a great coach who I have no doubt will end up on someone's bench in the NBA.
My biggest problem with this situation is of course, the way the New York Knicks organization has handled the story. Whether it was Melo pushing him out the door, or not, the Knicks absurd anti-media policy in a market that is media heavy is absolutely ridiculous. More specifically, the absolute lame-duck approach that Jim Dolan has taken with prepared statements and unanswered questions in various crisis such as this one.
One of these days Mr. Dolan, you will have to address your fan base. An not just during a introductory press conference.
Finally, onto the man that has made Alex Rodriguez's life much easier in New York City and the 800lb gorilla in the Garden, Carmelo Anthony. Is he to blame for all of this? Not entirely. However, he is very much responsible for a large part of it.
Look, I don't believe Anthony should be traded.
[Side blog: All of these "fans" that claim the Knicks should trade Tyson Chandler and Anthony for Dwight Howard need to settle down. I'm always fascinated by the "flavor of the month" on-the-market talent that always seems to dominate the NBA. Settle down, folks. Settle down.]
Anthony is a tremendous player that can definitely help the Knicks reach the potential and goals we all have for them. However, my issue with Anthony lies in the truth that he isn't as great as advertised. In what has become trendy lately in labeling certain players as "superstars", has over-saturated the conversation in regards to any topic involving Anthony.
|"Mike, I'm so happy you're our new coach!"|
Once again, let me reiterate, Anthony is a great scorer. However, after now seeing him every night and every game, Anthony's game is just that - a great scorer.
What really annoys me about Anthony is his drive. Does he truly want to win? Or is he more interested in getting his points and calling it a night?
Some nights, the answer is yes to the former, and other nights, to the latter.
And on plays like the one against the Chicago Bulls where he did not dive on the floor for a loose ball, solidifies the questioning of his desire.
Carmelo wanted the bright lights of this city. For weeks we heard about D'Antoni's system holding him back and was the cause of his struggles. Now, with D'Antoni out, there are no more excuses. There is no one else to blame.
All eyes are on you, Carmelo.
And it seems that's what you wanted all along.
Your legacy is now on the line - its make or break time.