While the somewhat delusional former Tottenham trialist harbors hope Mike D’Antoni might still return to Phoenix, the Knicks and Bulls appear to be engaged in a battle for the services of the Suns’ head coach. ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith reports New York has offered D’Antoni a 6 year, $24 million pact, which only leaves me with two questions ;
1) why hasn’t D’Antoni signed already?
2) if James Dolan was going to continue to bid against himself, what was the point in hiring Donnie Walsh?.
If you’ve read “:07 Seconds Or Less” you’re already trembling with anticipation about Eddy Curry’s role in a real fast-break offense. When next season’s Knicks successfully raise their scoring average per game to 125 points (while allowing 150), D’Antoni can fall back on the Garden’s media policy when asked if his $6 million annual salary — topped only by the earnings of Phil Jackson and Greg Popovich — might also buy something besides total indifference to defense.
Were the Knicks a year or two away from contention, if the club’s roster in any way resembled something D’Antoni could employ to achieve similar (regular season) results, perhaps I could understand. But as long as the Knicks remain in cap hell, as long as there’s any chance D’Antoni will have Stephon Marbury and Zach Randolph rather than Steve Nash and Amare Stoudemire, I don’t get it.
I have no doubt D’Antoni would be a vast improvement over Isiah Thomas. There’s no sane person who’d argue otherwise. Nor will I pretend his credentials don’t put those of Mark Jackson or Herb Williams to shame. But you don’t pay a coach $24 million to preside over a squad this shitty at either end of the floor, not unless this is purely a bullshit P.R. exercise designed to obscure the depths of the franchise’s ills. In short, exactly the sort of quick fix mentality inconsistent with what we’ve been told of Donnie Walsh.