D’Antoni: “I Shouldn’t Have Gone to New York”

By JOSH NEWMAN

Special to ZAGSBLOG

With former Knicks head coach and new Los Angeles Lakers head coach Mike D’Antoni out from under the umbrella of Madison Square Garden Executive Chairman James Dolan, he is now free to speak his mind.

In a Monday afternoon story from Ramona Shelburne of ESPN Los Angeles, D’Antoni, who was hired as the coach of the Lakers on Nov. 12, expressed regret over his tenure with the Knicks, which began with the 2008-09 season and ended 42 games into the lockout-shortened 2011-12 season.

D’Antoni left the Phoenix Suns for the Knicks after five highly-successful seasons, which included three Pacific Division titles and two trips to the Western Conference Finals in 2005 and 2006.

Leaving Phoenix also meant he was leaving his point guard, Steve Nash, who has built a Hall of Fame career thanks in part to D’Antoni’s pick-and-roll offense.

“I shouldn’t have gone to New York,” D’Antoni said. “I should have stuck in there and battled. You don’t get to coach somebody like him [Nash] too many times. It’s pretty sacred and you need to take care of it. I didn’t.”

While still coach of the Suns, D’Antoni received permission in May, 2008 to speak with other teams about coaching opportunities. He eventually accepted the Knicks’ offer of four years and $24 million.

His first two years in Manhattan were a wash as the franchise positioned itself to make a run at free agent-to-be LeBron James in the Summer of 2010. That never materialized, but the Knicks signed Amar’e Stoudemire, traded for Carmelo Anthony and made the playoffs for the first time in a decade in 2011.

D’Antoni resigned in March after an 18-24 start and a relationship with Anthony that was presumed to be icy. D’Antoni and Anthony reunited with Team USA at the London Olympics in August.

Five games into this season, Lakers head coach Mike Brown was fired, D’Antoni was hired for $12 million over three years and now has a second chance with Nash, not to mention having Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol at his disposal.

“I probably irrationally made a decision right when the season was over,” D’Antoni said of his decision to leave Phoenix in 2008. “You should take a month to figure it out. I shouldn’t have left. That was my fault.”

D’Antoni’s comments should only add to the anticipation of his return to Madison Square Garden on Dec. 13 when the Lakers visit the Knicks in a nationally-televised game on TNT.

Photo: New York Daily News

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95 comments
Floyd Toucanet
Floyd Toucanet

I can't believe all the people screaming for the Jets to draft Cooks. These small guys never amount to anything in the NFL. Marqise Lee has a much better chance of being a great player in the NFL. Lee is also a perfect fit for the WCO and can contribute on Day 1. He can also return kicks and punts from Day 1. The only risk with Lee is due to his injury and he looked fine in the Bowl game. Marqise Lee is also a great blocker for his size which fits into the Jets scheme. Cooks can't block for his life. Cooks if he does anything in the NFL it will be in the slot. The Jets already have a good slot receiver. If the Jets use a 1st round pick on a WR it is not going to be on a slot receiver. Sorry to burst everyone's bubble. There is no way Idzik drafts Cooks in Round 1.

Tom Shuffler
Tom Shuffler

The best part of this is we have the luxury to do whatever we want for once. We finally get all this money and picks and they move the draft back. The rest of the league will pay for this :-)

maxjet
maxjet

If Brandin Cooks is there at 18th the Jets will draft him. If none of their top three WRs are there at 18 the Jets will go CB unless none of their top three are still available. If Bridgewater still there at 18 the Jets will get a lot of inquiries about trading down. At this point, I don't see the Jets going TE in first round.  

marcus81
marcus81

there are a lot of good receivers and corners in this draft, 1st rounders are usually ready to start and contribute right away compared to 2nd rounders and beyond, this team needs offense desperately, Jets already have Millner to take another CB first

Nolan Meyer
Nolan Meyer

He would be my first round pick over all the receivers with the exception of Watkins.  I wouldn't be opposed to trading up for him either.  I like seferian-Jenkins too, hopefully he is there in the second.  ebron is nice, but not with our first rounder, Jenkins in the second would be great IMO. 

Tom Shuffler
Tom Shuffler

Last year it was we better not go DL in round one now it's CB this year. After the Richardson pick last year why would anyone question who we draft regardless of position. They have 12 picks in a very rare deep draft, Idzik set it all up this way. Just enjoy it for a change because we usually don't have any money or draft picks this time of the year. 

Marvel
Marvel

Dear god we better not go CB in round one or two, would be so silly imo. 

 Hope idzik doesn't let me down.


Tom Shuffler
Tom Shuffler

If Dennard is there we gotta take him. To pair him up with Mill and Wilson in the slot is perfect. I'm not quite sure why everyone is saying we need to take a WR in round 1, it's not not there's a shortage this year. The deepest year ever for WR and we have to take one in the first round is just ridiculous.

dgdg
dgdg

Ladies & Gents, this guy is my choice for first round pick!

nesboogie
nesboogie

ODB in the 1st, Verrett in the 2nd hopefully 

a57se
a57se

Even after struggling at his Pro Day, ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported Friday that Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater's private workouts with NFL clubs "have also gone very shakily."

Mort believes Bridgewater's forthcoming draft-day slide won't occur solely because of his Pro Day. He says Bridgewater's private passing sessions with teams have been underwhelming, too. Mortensen added that teams remain concerned with Bridgewater's smallish hands. Once considered the likely No. 1 overall pick, Bridgewater's fall could ultimately mimic Geno Smith's from last year. 

More bad news for Teddy B.....

a57se
a57se

Missouri cuts Dorial Green-Beckham from the Football team!

Darn, why couldn't i have been born with that guys physical skills! I am jealous of these knuckleheads who throw away their talent.

r4to
r4to

From green & white to Green & White!!! Make it happen Idzik!!! No Fly Zone!!!

davem
davem

Double D looks good in green and white!

Kyle Ely
Kyle Ely

If we do draft him we better trade back into the first round to get a WR

WW85
WW85

I want Cooks and I do feel the Jets should take a WR #1, BUT there are so many excellent CBs & WRs in this draft, I will be disappointed, but wont freak out if they go 1CB  2WR, 3TE or some combo of that based on BPA.



Stanley Bostitch
Stanley Bostitch

Boy I'd like Dennard and then a trade up to the early 20's to get ODB or Cooks. That would be a thing of beauty, and we have the firepower to do it while also going for depth later.

bradysucks
bradysucks

Cooks isn't just a slot receiver and Idzik wanted to draft Tavon Austin last year

I do think that ODB and Lee are the 2 top receivers available when the Jets draft with the 18th pick but Cooks (if he is the pick) would help the Jets a lot. He is a dynamic playmaker

Tom Shuffler
Tom Shuffler

@marcus81  I'm by no means against a WR but if the right guy falls to us we take him. And Dennard is the perfect guy for our system to complete our secondary. We're not reinventing the wheel here, just like last year with Richardson. We have the luxury of 12 picks (thank you Mr. Idzk) to draft BPA. Whoever it may be, but we for sure don't have to go WR, especially since it's the deepest position in this years draft. Seattle did just fine with Golden Tate as their best WR.

Ron Alexander
Ron Alexander

@Tom Shuffler  What your neglecting to mention is the fact that we are almost forced to go corner with our first pick because our overly conservative GM failed to sign one of the 9 top corners that were available in free agency.You can talk about Izzy sticking to his plan all you want but this team has picked defensive players with 9 of their last 12 first round picks(two of them last year!)At some point we need to address the offensive skill positions and this draft was,and is the perfect opportunity to do so. As for why people will question who we pick its simple: Other than Richardson, last year draft produced a CB who up until week 17 looked pretty bad.Yes he came on, and yes there were reasons for his early struggles.But at this point he has proven little to nothing as far as being a long term solution.Ditto Geno who had his good moments but who's over all performance was shaky at best. Brian Winters and FB Tommy Bohanon struggled all year and finished as the lowest rated players at their respective positions.Lets not even get started on 5th & 6th Rd picks Oboushi & Campbell who were never even active for one game in spite of our O-line struggles all year. It's not my intention or desire to be negative, but lets keep things real here. I see no reason to be optimistic about Izzy's  ability to draft players based on last years draft so i don't get why you think Izzy has things lined up for success?

Pat d
Pat d

This draft is very deep at WR and CB

Eddy Lopez
Eddy Lopez

@Tom Shuffler  CB can wait no matter what rd it is they need to get use to the NFL speed. We need weapons for Geno/Vick we need to put points on the board.

Ron Alexander
Ron Alexander

@@denzilland  Great highlights bro!But keep in mind, they are exactly that;highlights! I'm sure there are some pretty bad low- lights on film to but you notice those are not available as the agents complie these high-light films to promote their clients. Nothing wrong with that but lets keep it real bro.Dennards a great talent but lets not put him in Canton just yet.

Zartan
Zartan

Cooks 1st Varret 2nd.

psi1
psi1

Someone is going to get a very good QB whenever they take Bridgewater. If he falls, it will possibly be a team already with a good veteran QB. Classic case of pre-draft over-analysis while de-emphasizing their lying eyes in the actual games the kid played. His hands must have shrunk since last fall.

williamg1
williamg1

@a57se  I've never been a fan of his. Couldn't understand what everyone saw in him. 

a57se
a57se

Maybe we'll pick him in the second round as well.....:)

nesboogie
nesboogie

@a57se  I go to school with him, party w/ him all the time lol

greggreen
greggreen

@Kyle Ely  if this draft is as deep as people say it is we should have plenty of talent wait with our second round pick

Kristin Klemmer Shuffler
Kristin Klemmer Shuffler

@Eddy Lopez @Tom Shuffler  We need another starting CB. The gap between Dennard and a second round CB say Breeland is far greater than say Beckham/Cooks in the first or Robinson/Mathews in the second. I'm pretty sure Seattle just won the Superbowl with the #1 defense in the NFL and an offense with no #1 WR, just a bunch of # 2s. 

Pat d
Pat d

Lee is better than ODB and Cooks

blackwood1
blackwood1

@williamg1 @a57se Really!?! You watched him play right? Aaron Rogers slipped so did the QB of the current super bowl champs. This guys film speaks for itself.

Ron Alexander
Ron Alexander

@Kristin Klemmer Shuffler @Eddy Lopez @Tom Shuffler  Kris, don't under estimate the importance of offensive balance.Yes Seattle's defense was awesome in the super bowl but if Russell Wilson and the offense hadn't also played well by controlling the time of possession Seattle's defense might become fatigued from too much time on the field.(much like our defense at various points last season as Geno and the offense

had way to many three & outs or worse yet, turn overs. A good team needs to move the chains to let their defense rest.

Tom Shuffler
Tom Shuffler

@Marvel @Kristin Klemmer Shuffler @Eddy Lopez @Tom Shuffler  I'm by no means against a WR in round one but if the right player falls to us (regardless of position), with 12 picks we have the luxury to draft such a player. And I think Dennard is such a perfect scheme fit he would be hard to pass up at 18. But what do I know :-)

Marvel
Marvel

@Kristin Klemmer Shuffler @Eddy Lopez@Tom Shuffler 

you'd have to argue that the impact defensive players were drafted in the first round for your argument to hold weight..



THE Seahawks won using our blueprint, why people mention them like that hasn't been our plan for 5 years is beyond me.


psi1
psi1

Count me in the Cooks camp. Him or OBJ before Lee.

psi1
psi1

Like all the experts knew Rodgers would be Rodgers leading up to his draft.

psi1
psi1

Wouldn't do it.

a57se
a57se

@harold @a57se 

same here


another hour to go......CAN'T WAIT!

a57se
a57se

@harold

I beat you to the post by a couple seconds....haha.

harold
harold

@Disgruntled Jets Fan @harold@jetlife@Stanley Bostitch


We can trade our 2nd, 3rd and our 2nd 4th.  We can trade our 2nd, a 4th and our 2nd next year.  We can trade our 2nd, 3rd and our 3rd next year, etc.  To get into the 20's.  Could be a little more or less depending on how high.

a57se
a57se

@Disgruntled Jets Fan @harold

Our 2nd, 3rd and 1st 4th rounder would get us into the mid 20's of the first round based on the trade value chart.....

That would leave us with 2 1st round picks, 2 4th round picks, a 5th, 4 6ths and a 7th