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Mike D’Antoni: “I shouldn’t have gone to New York”

Nov 28, 2012, 4:32 PM EDT

Indiana Pacers v Los Angeles Lakers Getty Images

Mike D’Antoni — along with Steve Nash and the “seven seconds or less” Phoenix Suns — didn’t win a ring but they have changed the face of the NBA. Now you see the NBA champion Miami Heat going with a guy thought of as a forward at center (as do other teams), like the Suns did. You see many teams trying to get early offense before a defense sets, like the Suns did. Today’s NBA is different because of what those Suns did.

But they didn’t win a ring. D’Antoni regrets that.

And he told ESPNLA’s Ramona Shelburne he should have stayed and fought for one in Phoenix. Although that’s not how Knicks fans are going to see his comments.

“I shouldn’t have gone to New York,” he says, looking down at the sideline in Memphis, pacing on that unstable right leg.

“I should have stuck in there and battled. You don’t get to coach somebody like him [Nash] too many times. It’s pretty sacred and you need to take care of it. I didn’t….

“I think we got frustrated and I got frustrated. That’s why I left. We were there, it seemed like we deserved it, and then it seemed like something happened all the time. Maybe we weren’t good enough either. We have to understand that.

“I probably irrationally made a decision right when the season was over. You should take a month to figure it out. I shouldn’t have left. That was my fault.”

In an all-or-nothing sports society, we can forget how close those Suns teams were. There was the year of the Amare Stoudemire and Boris Diaw suspension. Joe Johnson’s broken face. Tim Duncan’s improbable three. A lot of things held them back, but they were close.

D’Antoni couldn’t have stayed and made it work in Phoenix, not with how Steve Kerr came in with a different vision of how to build a roster and what it took to win a title. We all knew those Suns were dead the day Shaquille O’Neal arrived. D’Antoni made what was the right call back in summer 2008, and not just for the money. It’s just that things in New York went off script.

Knicks fans, also know that D’Antoni was good for you. He built players up as trade assets during the years it took Donnie Walsh to wipe the stench of Isiah Thomas off the roster. To put them in a position to have assets they could trade and have cap room to sign Stoudemire. All of which paved the way for Carmelo Anthony and that trade. D’Antoni helped build the foundation the current Knicks are built on.

  1. cantonbound13 - Nov 28, 2012 at 4:36 PM

    NY fans: “We didn’t want you!”

    • Mr. Wright 212 - Nov 28, 2012 at 5:59 PM


    • jimeejohnson - Nov 28, 2012 at 8:46 PM


  2. misterdreamer119 - Nov 28, 2012 at 4:44 PM

    The more he talks the happier i get. Im a Celtics fan and i see how weak he comes across. Now i know why the knicks didnt trust him and he quit.
    Lakers kobe can make all the difficult shots expending tons of energy while howard misses his freethrows and pau gets misused.
    Nash wont help you hes a fossil.

    • jimeejohnson - Nov 28, 2012 at 8:46 PM


      • bozosforall - Nov 28, 2012 at 11:21 PM

        lame..typical Puh C’s fan loser.

  3. sportsnut101 - Nov 28, 2012 at 5:34 PM

    Thank god Bulls passed on him bulls fan here

    Ny didn’t want u was happy when u quit

    He’s like norv turner off basketball only good at offensive

  4. iamjimmyjack - Nov 28, 2012 at 5:35 PM

    I swear mike d sure knows how to put a ton of pressure on Nash. Every time the lakers struggles are brought up, he talks about Nash. I love the lakers, but I think it’s going to take more than Nash to fix this team. We need improvements on the bench.

  5. magicbucs - Nov 28, 2012 at 5:39 PM

    Lol the headline should be… “I shouldn’t of gone to LA”

    • abchome - Nov 29, 2012 at 3:40 AM

      1-5 under Mike Brown, 5-1 under Bickerstaff, 2-3 under D’Antoni.

  6. Mr. Wright 212 - Nov 28, 2012 at 5:58 PM

    Mike Wright: “I wish you hadn’t.”

  7. delusionalcardsfan - Nov 28, 2012 at 7:57 PM

    And I hope neither of you “Class Act’s” never get a ring. GO SUNS.

  8. daniel10017 - Nov 29, 2012 at 7:50 AM

    To Mike D’Antoni: If you shoulddn’t have to NY it means you shouldn’t have taken thier money. Let me correct my sentence, you shouldn’t have taken all the $24 million that YOU STOLE from the Knicks. You are known as Larry Brown version number 2 to the NY Knicks fans.

  9. omniusprime - Nov 29, 2012 at 9:14 AM

    Kurt Helin displays his full ignorance as Dumbtoni’s apologist. Dumboni only built a foundation of frustration and incompetence in New York, now he’s doing the same thing in LA as he wrecks the Lakers. Before the year is out Dumbtoni will be fired as he wrecks the Laker team chemistry and leads them to a losing record.

    What the Lakers need most is for Daddy Buss to fire the little idiot buss boy before he totally destroys everything Daddy Buss built. The other thing the Lakers need is a more intelligent pundit than Kurt Helin to tell us the real story.

    Fire Dumbtoni NOW!!!

  10. LPad - Nov 29, 2012 at 9:31 AM

    “D’Antoni couldn’t have stayed and made it work in Phoenix, not with how Steve Kerr came in with a different vision of how to build a roster and what it took to win a title. We all knew those Suns were dead the day Shaquille O’Neal arrived.”

    This just points to what everyone says about D’Antoni being unwilling to adjust his offense. If he quit because he had to play Shaq and Amare, what makes you think that he can coach Dwight and Pau?

    Also, saying that he helped the Knicks acquire Melo is a joke. He didn’t develop a single player in his time in NY. Seriously, not one. Heck, he used to get mad when Gallo tried to develop a midrange game. Ever see one of his post game interviews where he would actually say that Gallo should take more threes and stop driving the ball to the rim. The fact that the Knicks sent over multiple future 1st round draft picks as part of the trade makes that clear. The fact that only Felton and Billups could run his offense (vets that Walsh acquired) makes that clear.

    Saying that D’Antoni develops players is also as funny as seeing him quit because Steve Kerr acquired Shaq.

  11. capone888 - Nov 29, 2012 at 10:54 AM

    Trust us Mike, we didn’t want you either. It’s not coincidence that as soon as you left the Knicks have become one of the better defending teams in the league and are in first place.

  12. dysraw1 - Nov 29, 2012 at 7:11 PM

    shame he didn’t stay PHX. hes not what i would call coach of the year. but there’s no doubt he had a good run,back when Steve was making him look smart

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