D’Antoni to Defy Expectations

Las Vegas Showgirls

I had hoped that the Bulls would convince D'Antoni to move to Chicago to give the Bulls a kick in the pants. At least we won't get Rick Carlisle or Larry Brown either.

when D’Antoni left the Phoenix Suns this weekend to join the Knicks — trading an All-Star lineup for a roster of misfits, leaving perhaps the league’s most stable franchise for perhaps its most dysfunctional — it was not the most unlikely event of his life.

Much of D’Antoni’s biography defies conventional expectations. He is fluent in Italian and holds a dual citizenship. He has logged more court time in Milan and Treviso than in Milwaukee and Cleveland. He is a co-author of two books.

And sometime soon, he may just crush every preconceived notion about who he is, what he does and what he can accomplish in the N.B.A. At least that will be D’Antoni’s hope, and his mission, when he is introduced this week as the Knicks’ 24th head coach.

Like anyone who achieves quick fame and adulation, D’Antoni has become saddled by his own clichéd reputation. He is known as an innovator and an entertainer, an advocate of shooting the ball in seven seconds or less, an evangelist of high-octane basketball, a true believer that a fast-and-furious offense can trump a great defense.

[From Expect D’Antoni to Defy Expectations - New York Times]

I don't know if D'Antoni will ever win a championship, especially with any team that Dorkweed Jim Dolan owns, but D'Antoni certainly is an entertaining coach, a basketball mind that rewards ball movement and player movement, and that's the essence of basketball. For two or more years, the Phoenix Suns were a breath of fresh air to an increasingly stodgy NBA of isolation-happy, one-on-one basketball. The Suns weren't the only uptempo team of the last few years (Don Nelson's Mavs, Rick Alderman's Sacramento Kings), but they were consistently one of the most fun to watch. At least until they lost to San Antonio last year, and whined about the loss incessantly. We'll see how many current New York Knicks are still on the roster in two years, I'd guess less than half (David Lee, Jamal Crawford, maybe Renaldo Balkman? Who else?)

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This page contains a single entry by Seth A. published on May 12, 2008 8:52 AM.

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