With a move that shocked the fans of the Knicks, players and even his bosses’ coach Mike D’Antoni has resigned. With his exit he also takes coaches Dan D’Antoni who is Mike’s brother and Phil Weber.
“It wasn’t just Carmelo,” referring to the rift that has now become public with Carmelo Anthony. Earlier in the day Anthony was saying that there was no problem with D’Antoni and that he was behind his coach “100 percent”. Anthony also denied rumors that he wanted to traded.
“I think it was our whole team was not playing up to where we thought they could be and I know Mike was as frustrated as anyone about that and that’s what led him to that decision, that maybe there needs to be a new approach and look at it.” Interim General Manager Glen Grunwald said.
Assistant coach Mike Woodson has now been promoted as interim head coach. Woodson has now rounded out his coaching staff by adding Jim Todd and Darrell Walker as assistant coaches. The Knicks have had a brief revival as of late because of the surprising skills of former bench warmer now superstar Jeremy Lin.
But Linsanity has now cooled and that has now been replaced with a six game losing streak that has dropped the Knicks into a tie for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
But with the Knicks down on their luck “He clearly felt it was best for the organization if he were not to continue as coach of the team. He did offer to stay,” James Dolan, Madison Square Garden chariman said during a press conference. “After a long discussion, we did agree it was best for the organization to have new voice moving forward.”
While D’Antoni has not said a comment since the announcement, the team as a whole hopes that they can move forward in a better and positive direction.
In a not so surprising move as of late Chicago Bulls Derrick Rose was fined $25,000 for publicly criticizing an official after Monday night’s win against the Knicks.
“I’ve gotta be the only super star that’s going through what I’m going through right now.” Rose said, referring to the lack of foul calls in his favor. “But I can’t comment on that that right now.”
Coach Tom Thibdodeau says that Rose is not much of a complainer, and if he does he has a valid point. The way things are going now with criticizing the officials Thibdodeau should be expecting a fine as well. Rose was 6 of 9 from the line and 12 of 29 from the floor scoring 32 points. Bulls won 106-99.
Howard Stays Put
Dwight Howard has decided (for now) to stay with the Orlando Magic. The Cinderella right at midnight decision was made Thursday right before the trade deadline to waive the early termination option in his contract. That means he has a deal with the only franchise he’s known till next season.
“I’m glad this is finally over,” Howard said at a news conference to announce the new pact. “…It’s not as easy as some people think. It’s been very hard. We’re talking a career changing event. Most people don’t see that.”
Howard also said that loyalty is above everything and that is why he is staying. While he may speak of loyalty now, it was not too long ago that Howard was very verbal about not wanting to stay with the Magic and how he was looking at the Bulls and Mavericks. Howard first requested a trade during the preseason and he also spoke about his frustration with the Magic management and what he thought was a resistance to include him in personnel decisions and to improve the roster around him.
He even went as far as to praise the relationship he felt Dirk Nowitzki had with Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban. But for now Howard is happy with his decision and has said “I have to put my trust in Alex and Otis…I want to win a championship and that’s the only thing that matters.”
To Live and Be Traded in LA
It has been a busy week for former Los Angeles Lakers Derek Fisher. He was traded in a four player deal to the Houston Rockets. In that deal The Lakers acquired Ramon Sessions from Cleveland on Thursday and sent Luke Walton and Jason Kapono to the Cavaliers. Fisher along with Kobe Bryant joined the Lakers in 1996 and has won 5 NBA titles.
They were thought of as leaders in the locker room. Bryant has not said anything to the press yet and many believe that he will be undoubtedly upset.
General Manager Mitch Kupchak said “It’s hard to put into words what he’s meant to this organization, on the court and off the court,” he said Thursday at the Lakers’ training complex. “It’s one of the hardest parts of the job that a general manager has, separating the emotions of a relationship you’ve had. … We think Ramon will make an immediate impact. Despite Derek’s presence, we felt that we needed more speed and more quickness in the backcourt.”
Many believe the trade will hurt the Lakers but only time will tell if it will affect them at all. But in an even more surprising move the Houston Rockets have now bought out Fisher’s contract and he will become a free agent once he clears the waivers.
Rubio Mania Gets a Cure
Timberwolves Ricky Rubio will have reconstructive surgery on his left ACL next week. The team announced the surgery will take place next Wednesday in Vail, Co. with Dr. Richard Steadman. He is a noted Doctor who has treated many athletes over the years. Rubio tore his anterior cruciate ligament last week with 16 seconds left in the game against the Los Angeles Lakers. Rubio was trying to defend Kobe Bryant when he fell. He will not be back this season, but the Wolves have expressed optimism that Rubio will be able to return at next season. An ACL injury recovery can vary in healing time but typically takes about 9 months.
“The way he is, he’s going to get through this,” head coach Rick Adelman said last week. “He’s going to come back.”
Other News and Notables
- Stephon Marbury denies hitting fans after bitter playoff loss in the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA). Marbury and the Beijing Ducks were trapped in their team van after the 102-100 loss to the Shanxi Brave Dragons. He was quoted by the China Daily saying guards were separating him and the fans, but reports say otherwise. “I didn’t do that.” Marbury said. “How could I do that over the security guards?” He scored 25 points but the game was stopped for 10 minutes because the Shanxi fans threw water bottles to protest what they thought was a bad call. The Shanxi win ties the best of 5 series to 2-2. Marbury who is a native of New York City is the highest paid player to go to the CBA and enjoys playing.
- The Milwaukee Bucks Ersan Ilyasova and the Golden State Warriors Monta Ellis today were named the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week. Ilyasova averaged 25 points, 10.8 rebounds and 1.5 assists. Ilyasova posted three point-rebound double-doubles, including a 31 point, 12 rebound effort to close the week in a 105-99 win over the Raptors on March 11. Ellis has 20.5 points, 7.5 assists and 2.0 steals. Ellis knocked down 8-of-12 (.667) three-point field goals on the week, and shot 10-of-16 from the field in his 25-point, eight-assist, five-rebound effort in a 120-100 win over the Wizards on March 5.