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 /
3 of 4
NY Knicks, Damian Lillard
NY Knicks, Damian Lillard (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images) /

Knicks: Would Damian Lillard Approve of Mike D’Antoni?

As the franchise’s superstar, Damian Lillard should and will likely have some input on who the next head coach will be in Portland. However, it is certainly possible that Lillard at one point or another does not approve of D’Antoni, and even of the direction of the Trail Blazers as a whole.

The clamoring by fans and media alike is at an all-time high for Lillard to move on from Portland. He’s approaching his age 31 season, so time for Lillard to remain in his prime and compete for championships is winding down.

Naturally, we here at Daily Knicks have been dreaming up a scenario in which Lillard finds his way to New York. In the event that the incredibly loyal point guard requests a trade, the Knicks will definitely be in line for his services. They have already reached out to Portland about acquiring Lillard following the Blazers’ first-round defeat just a few weeks ago.

Lillard has been rumored to want Jason Kidd as his coach. Kidd currently is an assistant for the Los Angeles Lakers and was coach in Brooklyn and Milwaukee. Rumors are rumors, but nonetheless, Lillard can decide that the hiring of a coach he doesn’t want is the final straw.

With his track record, D’Antoni could please Lillard for the time being. But, most people will tell you that despite the issues Terry Stotts presented, the Trail Blazers have been unable to truly contend mostly due to a lack of help surrounding Lillard, especially on defense. Even if D’Antoni, an offensive genius, can keep Portland among the leagues best on that end, he may not do enough to make up for shortcomings on behalf of the front office.

Ultimately, Lillard’s future hangs in the balance. While D’Antoni is a nice choice, he may not be the right choice. Honestly, it is extremely unlikely that any coaching candidate alone will be enough to get Lillard to the Finals stage. Therefore, D’Antoni’s potential arrival to Portland can just be a footnote in the journey of Lillard’s exit. The Knicks have the cap space, the defense, and the market appeal to gauge his interest and build a contender for his remaining prime years.