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Mike D’Antoni says he would have “walked to Phoenix” to bring Steve Nash to New York

Jul 28, 2012, 6:34 PM EDT

Mike D'Antoni Steve Nash Getty Images

The Knicks had dreams of Steve Nash this summer before the Lakers swooped in and took over to land Nash in their sign-and-trade. Nash eventually made his decision based on the proximity to his kids, so there may have been nothing for the Knicks to do. But you have to imagine that having Mike D’Antoni still roaming their sideline would have helped. In London for the Olympics as an assistant for Team USA, D’Antoni told reporters that he would have “walked to Phoenix” to get Nash on board in New York.

But of course, that was never going to happen. The CAA Knicks starring Carmelo Anthony were never going to appear otherwise, and D’Antoni didn’t fit into that plan. If Jeremy Lin was a threat to Anthony’s stardom (and there’s no indication that Anthony himself had a problem with sharing the spotlight if it meant winning), how was that going to work with the two-time MVP in the building?

Even more so, though, the Knicks have headed in a different direction. They’re a slower, defensive team now, built around Mike Woodson’s defensive scheme and Tyson Chandler‘s at-rim protection. The Nash-Amar’e connection was great six years, ago, even three years ago. But they would have been trying to head in two different directions, towards a defensive mindset and an offensive approach. Too difficult to try and go both places at once.

So maybe it’s for the best. But you can tell where D’Antoni’s mind was headed. A Nash-J.R. Smith-Melo-Amar’e Stoudemire-Chandler team might have been able to balance both sides. We’ll never know. D’Antoni’s gone and this is Melo’s team through and through now.

  1. dysraw1 - Jul 28, 2012 at 8:05 PM

    Dick D’antoni is gone, so what he would do has no relevance you guys are so funny the way you take cheap shots Melo this is NY. Knicks. not Melo’s team. if he goes down [ god forbid] i would like to think that the team can still win regardless so take your jabs & sly comments an stuff em

    • thenoblefacehumper - Jul 28, 2012 at 10:10 PM

      Agree with you in principe, but I’m not sure why you think D’antoni is a dick. He just wasn’t the right coach for the Knicks as currently constructed. I agree with you that most writers on this site take every last opportunity to bash ‘Melo and the Knicks in general. Maybe they have a crush on him or something.

      • dysraw1 - Jul 29, 2012 at 12:44 PM

        because he was soft from the gate , he gave his owner to much say when your style coach like his you can’t deal from weakness.you have be able to have your style players he never wanted Melo but look who’s here, he needed Marbury only a owner can chuck away 22 mil

    • thenoblefacehumper - Jul 29, 2012 at 9:10 PM

      Didn’t really understand most of that.

  2. dysraw1 - Jul 28, 2012 at 8:07 PM

    the caa knicks indeed

  3. knightrider1755 - Jul 28, 2012 at 8:47 PM

    D’Antoni’s system would never have worked with Nash on the team with Melo and Amore. It didn’t work with Lin, Melo and Amare. No Melo, and perhaps it would’ve worked but that wasn’t the scenario D’Antoni was given. It was what it was.

  4. ambitoos - Jul 28, 2012 at 9:57 PM

    As a Laker fan, we should have gone after Nash several years ago. We held onto Fish way to long.

  5. heathater4lifeson - Jul 29, 2012 at 12:54 AM

    Leave it to a laker fan to think la could have gotten Nash in his prime. Lala land

  6. BigBeachBall - Jul 29, 2012 at 1:53 AM

    They should have made Mike Brown walk to phoenix… would have done him some good.

  7. londonaiooo - Jul 29, 2012 at 6:17 AM

    Hopefully he can spend the summer reminding Melo that he’s overrated! And Tyson can point out to him that ‘superstars’ play defense too.

  8. lakerluver - Jul 29, 2012 at 11:57 AM

    The only one who’s overrated is Mike D’Antonio. That run & gun–no defense style will NEVER win a title. Defense+rebounds=Rings

  9. misterdreamer119 - Jul 29, 2012 at 7:40 PM

    Dantoni sucks. His teams suck. Get him oata here.

  10. 20dollardinners - Jul 30, 2012 at 7:20 AM

    Mike D’Antoni says he would have “walked to Phoenix” to bring Steve Nash to New York

    AKA

    Steve Nash is the reason I got this coaching job and without him I am exposed as a coach who does not defensively game plan for opposing player and my style of play is:
    1. Extremely entertaining
    2. Wins a good number of regular season games (as opposing teams don’t game plan for the regular season like they do in the playoffs)
    3. Relies on young, athletic combo players + an elite point guard

    Poor guy was given one of the worst rosters for his brand of basketball, which leads to the question “what were they thinking?”

    • dysraw1 - Jul 30, 2012 at 11:22 AM

      coaches in the NBA. have to adapt on the fly or be in control of who comes and plays for them like Pat Riley if not you have to be able to work around the flaws in your roster.

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