Carmelo Anthony and Houston Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni didn’t have a good relationship working together in the New York Knicks. D’Antoni revealed that Anthony played a major role why he decided to resign as the Knicks head coach.
In 2011, Anthony requested to be traded to the Knicks and played under coach Mike D’Antoni. He helped the Knicks earn the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference and end their six-year playoff drought. Unfortunately, the Boston Celtics swept them in the first round.
Carmelo Anthony forced Mike D’Antoni to quit as Knicks head coach
During the 2011-12 NBA season, the dispute between Anthony and D’Antoni became the center of controversy in New York. The Knicks star felt D’Antoni and then-interim GM Glen Grunwald didn’t trust him, especially in making personnel decisions. The feud became more intense after Anthony expressed his intention to leave the Knicks if D’Antoni will remain as their head coach.
Anthony and D’Antoni tried to have a conversation to talk about their differences and how they wanted to operate the team. Unfortunately, it didn’t change Anthony’s point of view. On March 14, 2012, D’Antoni decided to resign as Knicks head coach and assistant coach Mike Woodson served as his replacement.
“I just went in and quit,” D’Antoni told ESPN magazine. It was revealed that Anthony wasn’t a fan of D’Antoni’s pick-and-rolls and excelled with Woodson’s isolation plays. D’Antoni’s favoritism of Jeremy Lin also became one of the major reasons why Anthony wanted him out of New York.
The Asian-American guard grabbed the spotlight after D’Antoni gave him a playing time as an act of “desperation.” Lin didn’t waste the opportunity to prove himself and became an essential player for the Knicks. Unfortunately, with the departure of D’Antoni, Lin didn’t perform well under Woodson.
Mike D’Antoni finally found his place
After leaving the Knicks, the Los Angeles Lakers hired D’Antoni to replace Mike Brown as head coach. However, in 2015, he also resigned after the Lakers decided not to pick up his team option. He signed with the Philadephia 76ers as an associate head coach.
As of now, D’Antoni’s working as the head coach of the Houston Rockets. Recently, D’Antoni and Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra are the co-recipients of the inaugural Michael H. Goldberg NBCA Coach of the Year Award. When asked if his coach better right now, D’Antoni gave a confident response.
“For sure,” D’Antoni said. “I don’t have any restraints. I’m not worried about pissing anybody off. I’m not worried about my next job. I told the players, ‘You can do it this way or do it the way y’all want to do it. I don’t care. This way will work. Y’all’s way is not going to work, so figure it out. If you want to have a bad season, have a bad season.'”
Photo courtesy: Keith Allison/Flickr
Video courtesy: Youtube/JeremyLinnChannel