With one year left on Mike D’Antoni’s current contract with the New York Knicks, comes this tidbit from the New York Post regarding Chauncey Billups and D’Antoni.
Apparently during the Knicks’ playoff series against the Boston Celtics, the injured Billups was more of a coach than D’Antoni:
One player said Chauncey Billups, especially after he got injured, did far more coaching on the bench and in the huddle during the playoffs than D’Antoni, and “made a helluva lot more sense.”
As stated before, D’Antoni has one year left on his contract with New York and you have to wonder if this final contract season is the proverbial make-it-or-break-it season for him.
From the Phoenix Suns to now with the Knicks, D’Antoni and his run-and-gun system have never been a proven winner. It makes for a great regular season but not when it counts in the playoffs. With his focus more on the offensive side of the court rather than a focus on both ends of the court, has to factor in immensely when it’s time for New York to decide D’Antoni’s future with the team.
New York City, the Knicks’ fans, and especially Knicks’ Donnie Walsh probably feel a team with Amar’e Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony and the possibility of another mega-star free agent to be added, this franchise might finally come out of the shadow of NBA laughing stock, to perennial NBA power. Question is whether D’Antoni and his defense-less ways are enough to get it done?
And if the above report is true, then having one of your own players feel a fellow player made better coaching decisions in the playoffs, and come out to the media and admit it, has to make you wonder if the team ever did tune him out on other occasions.
Overall, this does not bode well for D’Antoni and the Knicks who are still under construction. Will D’Antoni be a part of the team’s blueprints remains to be seen.