Mike D’Antoni has resigned as coach of the New York Knicks, sources confirmed to ESPN Wednesday.
D’Antoni’s resignation was first reported by Yahoo! Sports on Wednesday. The coach’s agent, Warren LeGarie, told ESPN The Magazine’s Ric Bucher that the parting was “a mutual decision” because D’Antoni and the franchise have “conflicting views of the Knicks’ future.”
The Knicks (18-24) have hit a tailspin in the last two weeks, losing six straight and seven of eight to fall six games below .500 and into a tie for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Carmelo Anthony has told a confidant that he prefers a trade from the Knicks before the deadline, according to a source.
Anthony reportedly believes Mike D’Antoni and Glen Grunwald do not trust him. He is surprised that his opinion has not been sought more on personnel moves.
“The organization makes believe his opinions don’t matter,’’ the source said.
A source said Anthony and D’Antoni spoke in an attempt to reconcile their differences and made progress. Anthony will not make a formal trade request.
Anthony’s agent Leon Rose refutes the report to Frank Isola of the New York Daily News.
“Total nonsense,” Rose tells Daily News. “It’s laughable.”
The Knicks plan to be aggressive in landing J.R. Smith, coach Mike D’Antoni indicated.
“I know [interim general manager] Glen [Grunwald] every day will canvas the league and talk and try to make the team better,’’ D’Antoni said. “Whether it’s D-League, free agency, trades. Whatever make sense and helps the team we’ll do. We have to be very aggressive. We know the areas we need help.’’
The Knicks’ interest in Smith appears to be mutual, as Smith tweeted on Friday: “New York City is where it’s at!’’
Knick coach Mike D’Antoni was asked about the Knicks looking into acquiring Ramon Sessions if things do not work out with Baron Davis. He did not dismiss the possibility.
New York does not appear to have enough tradable assets to entice Cleveland. D’Antoni said that, while nothing is imminent, interim GM Glen Grunwald is doing his ‘due diligence.’
“I’m sure [Grunwald’s] sitting there going, ‘Well, what can we do if Plan A doesn’t work? Plan B, Plan C — he’s looking at every possibility,” the coach said.
“Whether there’s possibilities now or not, I have heard any. I don’t think so. But I’m sure that it will be thoroughly discussed and looked at and whatever will make our team better, we’ll do it.”
There have been renewed whispers the Knicks have inquired about Suns point guard Steve Nash, who lives in SoHo in the offseason.
The Knicks have talked internally about trading Chauncey Billups for Nash as both have expiring contracts. But there does not appear any reason for Suns owner Robert Sarver to make a move and give Mike D’Antoni a chance to reunite with his favorite son.
Donnie Walsh’s tenure as president and general manager of the New York Knicks is ending, team owner James Dolan said Friday.
“Following a long series of discussions regarding his future role with the New York Knicks, Donnie Walsh and I have mutually agreed that he will be leaving his position … at the end of June,” Dolan said in a statement.
Walsh will work in a consultant’s capacity for the team next season.
Walsh’s departure opens questions about whether coach Mike D’Antoni will return for the final year of his contract.
According to sources, the New York Knicks are interested in bringing back Wilson Chandler.
Chandler, who got traded to Denver in the Carmelo Anthony trade, will be a restricted free agent, and a source said he would love to return to the Knicks. And the Knicks would love to have him back as Mike D’Antoni believes he is the perfect versatile fit for his system.
Chandler’s new agent is Happy Walters, who also represents Amare Stoudemire and Knicks surprise reserve standout Shawne Williams, also a free agent whom the Knicks would like to bring back.
Amare Stoudemire will suit up and try to play through the pain associated with a pulled back muscle in Sunday’s Game 4 of the Knicks-Celtics series on Sunday, Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni said.
Point guard Chauncey Billups, however, has already been ruled out.
Stoudemire played with a pulled back muscle in Game 3 on Friday night. He said on Saturday that he would not play in Game 4 if the pain in his back hadn’t subsided by game time.
D’Antoni said that Stoudemire’s injury repsonded well to treatment on Saturday night and Sunday morning.
Thirteen games into the Amare Stoudemire-Carmelo Anthony pairing, New York set a record — for hitting 20 three-pointers.
The Knicks are straddling the uncomfortable space between expectations and fundamental realities. The public expects a juggernaut, no matter how many times the Knicks insist they need time to establish an identity.
Before the game, Mike D’Antoni acknowledged the fans’ anxiety and tried to calm the waters. “It’s great — they care,” he said, before adding a bit of wry advice. “You know, take some Prozac or something. Hang in there. We’re hanging in there.”
He acknowledged “some deficiencies, some holes,” particularly on defense — a weakness that has been demonstrably worse since the trade. “The biggest thing is not to panic,” D’Antoni said, adding, “We’re not as good as we will be.”
The Knicks explained why the team decided to waive Corey Brewer shortly after he was acquired via trade.
Brewer was not guaranteed playing time and his agent Happy Walters, who also represents Amare Stoudemire, requested his release. Dallas used their biannual extension to sign him to a three-year, $7 million contract.
“We let him go here because he got a two- or three-year contract and some money and they asked us for him to go,” said Mike D’Antoni. “I thought we did the right thing as an organization, that we couldn’t promise him what he can have there. I think you have to take your hat off to the organization and to Donnie Walsh for doing the classy thing and let him do it.”