“I’ve known Mike D’Antoni for 40 years,” Walton told WFAN’s Boomer & Carton on Wednesday. “He is a brilliant basketball mind. He is a genius in terms of creativity and imagination.”
Upon resistance from Carton, Walton stepped up his game: “The NBA owes a huge debt of gratitude to Mike D’Antoni, who saved the sport 10 years ago.”
“I stand by that statement,” Walton said when asked if he’d like to retract his comments on D’Antoni. “I stand tall on that statement. I stand tall as others have stood tall for me. Mike D’Antoni is a genius, he is a monument to the history of basketball.”
So if not D’Antoni, what exactly is the problem? According to Walsh, it all comes down to the concept of teamwork.
“It’s not about numbers,” said Walsh. “It’s about a style, it’s about creativity, it’s about coming together, it’s about the fluidity of controlling and defining the terms of a conflict. That Knicks team has not come together yet.”