In an unexpected move on the eve of the trade deadline, Mike D'Antoni stepped down as head coach of the New York Knicks. Rumors flew about an restless locker room that had lost his respect and attention. The poopstorm came to a head early this afternoon with the resignation amid Melodrama II: Electric Hullabaloo TM.
And then came this from Deadspin:
At 1:44, we received an email saying Mike D'Antoni was stepping down as Knicks coach. It supposedly came "straight from the D'Antoni family," but we hadn't dealt with the source before, couldn't confirm, and wasn't particularly the kind of thing that's worth getting wrong.
Our tipster, currently batting 1.000, says that "he has either the Wash or Charlotte job lined up, otherwise he would not have left." For what it's worth.
Bizarre, but not unthinkable.
I've hardly had time to think this over and come to a certain conclusion, but I don't think I'd be against it. D'Antoni does great work with point guards, especially in the pick and roll which could be a great thing for Kemba Walker. He also loves to have his teams get up and down the court for high-scoring offenses. D'Antoni has this reputation for coaching teams that are bad on defense, yet the Knicks were 18th in scoring defense this season until he resigned. With Tyson Chandler anchoring the paint, New York became a terror around the basket on defense. The main problem for D'Antoni and the Knicks was the personnel not matching the style of play he likes to build around. The offense was a mishmash of untalented offensive guards and isolation play that mostly found ground in the PnR and spreading the ball around. The Bobcats on the other hand are a franchise in transition, in the process of letting bad contracts expire and bringing in young talent. The problems in New York would likely not be the same if he were to come to Charlotte.
The other thing here is the job security of Paul Silas. Silas brought an untalented squad to overachieve in the second half of last season, but with an even more depleted roster, he has not had a fun time. The team has been historically bad, plagued by injuries and often, a lack of motivation. The faults there lie in Silas and his coaching staff's hands, but the players are not without blame either. It would be unfortunate to see Silas go before he got a chance with a roster built for at least borderline playoff contention. And yet D'Antoni has probably become, dare I say, underrated after many Knicks fans have loudly called for his head. He's had a history of coaching better teams than Silas.
Who knows if this happens. It's pure speculation at this point. But it's definitely something to keep an eye on and think about.