With a once promising season coming apart at the seams and in the midst of a six game losing streak, the “New York Post” reported Wednesday that New York Knicks head coach Mike D’Antoni decided to jump instead of being pushed and resigned as the club’s bench boss. According to the paper’s sources, the move was actually a mutual decision between the coach and the franchise. Former Atlanta Hawks head coach Mike Woodson will be the interim coach for the balance of the campaign.
The Knicks have an 18-24 record this season, have gone 2-8 in their last ten contests and currently are the ninth seed in the Eastern Conference Playoff chase. Fans of the team have called for the coach’s head for the last few weeks and there were reports over the past few days that the Knicks players had stopped listening to their head coach.
When the Knicks acquired Free Agent center Tyson Chandler just prior to the start of the campaign, many NBA observers expected the club to battle it out with the Bulls and the Miami Heat for supremacy of the Eastern Conference. Instead, it has been a very disappointing season, save for the couple of weeks when Knicks guard Jeremy Lin burst out of nowhere just before the All-Star break, carrying the team back to the .500 mark and capturing the hearts and minds of New York fans in the process.
The chemistry that the team had gained over their winning streak would soon dissipate once starting forward Carmelo Anthony returned to the lineup and once again expect to be the focal point of the squad’s offense. Unfortunately the All-Star forward and his coach could never get on the same page and the team began to go into free-fall mode.
The Knicks head coach was in the fourth and final year of his contract; which reportedly earned him $24 million over the last four years. He was before the head coach of the Phoenix Suns from 2003-2008.