20 People who turned their backs on the New York Knicks

The New York Knicks have a troubled past.

New York Knicks, Pat Riley
New York Knicks, Pat Riley / Focus On Sport/GettyImages
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Mike D'Antoni

In 2008, Mike D'Antoni became the third-highest paid coach in the NBA when he signed a four-year, $24 million deal to lead the Knicks. D'Antoni arrived in New York after team president Isiah Thomas and head coach Larry Brown had left, leaving the Knicks in disarray. 

D'Antoni had reached the playoffs in his previous four years in Phoenix, so there were high hopes for what he could accomplish in New York. 

He had a 267-172 coaching record before he took over the Knicks, and when he abruptly stepped down in 2012, he had added 145 more losses to that list and only 121 wins. In his “best” season in New York, the team finished two games above .500. He wasn’t what the Knicks envisioned he’d be when they hired him, which certainly wasn’t all his fault. However, it’s not as if he didn’t have the talent.

Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire were the Knicks’ stars, but in their first season in NYC (2010-11), the team was swept by the Celtics in the first round of the playoffs. D’Antoni quit before the 2011-12 season ended, which was another first-round exit.

To avoid being fired, he ditched the Knicks. His contract was going to be up at the end of the season, but it was still a bad look. He walked away with only one postseason appearance in New York.