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D’Antoni to Knicks, Carlisle to Mavs, what the…

by james on May 11th, 2008

NBA Obsessed takes you into the hit and run game of NBA Basketball.

Can nice guy Mike D’Antoni give the New York Knicks the discipline they need?

Image details: New Orleans Hornets v Phoenix Suns served by picapp.com

A tale of two coaching changes and a true mystery as to what is going on.

Donnie Walsh of the Knicks hired Mike D’Antoni to be coach of the Knicks.

Donnie Nelson of the Dallas Mavericks hired Rick Carlisle.

So please explain what is going in here.

Let’s start with D’Antoni, who was fired by the Phoenix Suns.

For New York, this is a mistake.

Wrong coach, wrong time.

The Knicks need toughness.



On his best day on the job, D’Antoni brings none of these elements to Madison Square Garden. Basketball doesn’t need to be fun in New York. It doesn’t need to be entertaining. Most of all, New York wants tough, relentless teams. In the Western Conference, you need to win with style. It sells tickets. It gets people out of warm weather into an arena. This isn’t necessary in New York. It takes the perfect personnel to run, and that isn’t there today, tomorrow – maybe never.


Jimmy Dolan and Isiah Thomas left the Knicks with a boatload of big contracts that will keep bad players trapped in New York. Worse yet, they are not in the style of D’Antoni. He likes his teams to run, pass, and shoot quickly. The Knicks just like to ball hog.

Can D’Antoni survive in New York if he starts losing and can’t switch any players?

Rick Carlisle

Coach Carlisle is the type of coach that like to script out the plays. Chauncey Billups once remarked that they knew exactly what they would run in the last two minutes of any game. Carlisle will sometimes call all the plays from the bench. Will the wide open playing Dallas Mavericks be able to even wait for the signals.

Carlisle is also a master of defense. He preaches one on one principles and does not like to double team. Does this mean Dirk Nowitzki will have to play defense?

Donnie Nelson, the Mavericks’ president of basketball operations, said in a statement that Carlisle was “our top choice from the onset.”

“His integrity, exceptional basketball IQ and balanced approach are exactly what we were looking for,” Nelson said. “Rick’s playoff experience and success make him a great fit for our team and its future.”


Rick was great with the Pistons at winning with very little in terms of star power, but he eventually wore out his welcome and the Pistons got rid of him and hired Larry Brown.

These are strange hires, even by the good old boys standard.

Can D’Antoni win with selfish players?

Can Carlisle win with offense first players?

Tune into the NBA next year to find out.

As always, any NBA Basketball related comments are welcome.

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POSTED IN: Dallas Mavericks, Dirk Nowitzki, Isiah Thomas, NBA Basketball, New York Knicks

2 opinions for D’Antoni to Knicks, Carlisle to Mavs, what the…

  • RonBFree
    May 12, 2008 at 5:24 am

    D’Antonio went to NY not to win a championship, that takes a team with a good general manager that knows how to acquired the right mix of players/salaries. Isiah left the Knicks with a dyslexic bunch of misfits on the court. D’Antonio went there for the money (As did are old friend Larry “Show me the Money” Brown. Carlsisle will work hard for Dallas. Will the players buy into his system and work hard for him? Tough to imagine a Mavs team playing defense and running a structured offense.

  • james
    May 12, 2008 at 5:34 pm

    You think D’Antoni went for the paltry 24 million? Geez, hard to call that motivation. He will be roasted and toasted in NYC.

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