How the Blazers potential hiring of Mike D’Antoni can impact the Knicks

Mike D'Antoni. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Mike D'Antoni. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mike D’Antoni, Houston Rockets (Photo by Timothy Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /

Mike D’Antoni Joining Portland Keeps Him Out of the Eastern Conference

As mentioned, D’Antoni is a fantastic head coach.

D’Antoni made a name for himself in Phoenix with the Suns and his “7 seconds or less offense.” This system revolutionized basketball, as the Suns constantly pushed the pace and bombed away from three in an era that still was a decade-plus away from the three-point heavy playstyle we see today.

With Steve Nash leading the charge, a young and very springy Amar’e Stoudemire, and great role players like Shawn Marion, Boris Diaw, Joe Johnson, and others, D’Antoni’s squad was one of the elite teams in the league from 2004-2008. The team gave the Kobe Bryant-led LA Lakers and the Tim Duncan-led San Antonio Spurs fits in the playoffs.

D’Antoni eventually found his way to Houston, where he helped James Harden evolve into an elite playmaker. The Rockets were famously forced to battle the stacked Golden State Warriors in recent years. D’Antoni’s teams never made the NBA Finals, but they also, unfortunately, were often stopped by the eventual champions, some of the best teams in NBA history.

There are four teams in the league currently looking for a new head coach. The Trail Blazers, of course, are one of them. The other three are all in the Eastern Conference: The Indiana Pacers, Orlando Magic, and Boston Celtics.

The New York Knicks should count their lucky stars in the hopes that D’Antoni either stays an assistant in Brooklyn or chooses to go back to the Western Conference with Portland. No team should want to face a team coached by him, and the Knicks will only benefit by being able to avoid him outside of two games a year.

It would be especially disappointing to see him become the new coach of the Celtics. This would keep him in the Atlantic Division in direct competition with the Knicks. I’d much rather not see the incredible duo of Jayson Tatum and Jalen Brown at his disposal. They are gifted enough on offense. The Knicks and the league at large have already caught a break with Boston choosing to elevate Brad Stevens, a great coach in his own right, to the front office.