Dolan Hopes For Playoff Push Under Woodson As D’Antoni, Knicks ‘Mutually’ Part Ways

NEW YORK (AP/WFAN) — Knicks owner James Dolan gave his organization a vote of confidence hours after it and former head coach Mike D’Antoni “mutually agreed” to part ways.

“I believe in our players, I believe in talent, I believe in their commitment to…get this right,” Dolan told reporters at a news conference early Wednesday evening.

Gallery: D’Antoni’s career in the Big Apple

Dolan said that D’Antoni felt it was best for the organization if he was no longer coach of the team.  The Knicks owner said D’Antoni “offered to stay” but that both agreed it was best for the team to have a “new voice” moving forward.

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Mike Woodson will now take over as head coach for the remainder of the season. However, Dolan stressed that Woodson is aware the team will “re-evaluate” the situation at the end of the season. He said he believes Woodson would help the team make a playoff push.

Glen Grunwald, the team’s interim general manager, said he was “disappointed” by what happened and that it was a “rough go for Mike.”

Woodson, for his part, said that he understands that expectations are high and believes the team still has an opportunity to finish strong.

“We still have a grand opportunity to do something special here in New York,” he said. “I’m going to hold these guys accountable.”

D’Antoni put the Knicks through a morning workout Wednesday and had been preparing to coach them against the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday night.

New York has lost six in a row for the second time this season and has fallen into a tie for the eighth and final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference. The decision came just hours after star Carmelo Anthony denied there was a rift with D’Antoni.

The Knicks had struggled since Anthony returned from a groin injury 10 games ago. There was speculation that he and D’Antoni did not get along, though the All-Star forward said Wednesday he supported the coach “100 percent.”

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Never able to duplicate his success in Phoenix, D’Antoni was headed to his third losing season since signing a $24 million, four-year contract in 2008 that made him one of the NBA’s highest-paid coaches. He never won a playoff game in New York, where the Knicks were focused on the future during his first two years and made numerous changes that didn’t give him much of a chance to compete.

But they spent big this season, bringing in Tyson Chandler to play between Anthony and Amare Stoudemire, while adding players such as Baron Davis and JR Smith during the season. D’Antoni acknowledged Wednesday morning it was his responsibility to make everything work.

His departure came less than a month after he seemed rejuvenated by the emergence of Jeremy Lin, the undrafted point guard from Harvard who came off the end of the bench and proved to be the player who could properly run D’Antoni’s offensive system.

But the success didn’t last once Anthony returned, with the Knicks going 2-8 in a season that D’Antoni said should see them contend for a championship.

What do you make of D’Antoni’s sudden resignation? Let us know in the comments section below…

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • GA

    The coach was checked out when Donnie Walsh resigned.
    Dolan undermined the rebuild when he pushed for Carmelo a 1 dimensional ball hog” shoot first pass second” I have rooted for the Knicks since Frazier and Monroe the fans are being held hostage by a Billionaire that never worked for anything in his life. Donnie and Mike D. took the spoiled brats dollars gave him a plan that was sound& about to work Dolan screwed it up with the Anthony deal giving up 4 solid players for a BALL HOG Shame on you James you are a joke in the NBA..Bring in the Big Fella to Coach and the Zen master to fix your should resign have a few Scotches while you try to be a musician.

  • Johnny V

    I have to say… been ingnoring the Knicks for about 12 years. I was a mega fan during the Ewing era. But it made me sick. I got sick of the Ewing era going no where. the signing of Anthony got me checking them out again.I was surprised by how pathetic the Knicks was of late. I recall the manager being on other hapless teams. So I gues I was not too surprised. But when I compared the defense of the Knicks are now with the way they were then. It’s like night and day. They bascially have no defense I bllame D’Antony for that and it’s totally inexcusable in the NBA to have no defense like that. Any new coach is going to improve it. And I like Woodson. I get a good vibe from him and his positive impact on the Knicks. My prediction is he will be the coach for the next 15 years. .

  • jh


  • CARL


  • Chris!/daldridgetnt

    D-Antoni asked to trade Melo this morning and was told no.

  • Mobo

    There is no sense in rooting for the Knicks as long as Dolan owns the team.
    It’s a shame he doesn’t realize he is only the caretaker of the franchise, . If he were a manager at Cablevision, he would have been fired long ago for being ncompetent.. Walsh had a plan, but no, the idiot king gave away half the team
    for marsh Melo. What a disgrace!

  • Bman




    • brookyn1983

      The first should be fired is Melo, let him have his own 1 man team

      • Peter

        so true !!!!!

  • Tom

    Jerry Sloane????? Maybe????

    • flea

      Red Holzman?????Maybe????

      • Go #33

        Patrick Ewing will be only right thing to do.After all his years as Knick Lets give him his first NBA Head Coaching job.

  • BassGuyGG

    It was inevitable. When the coach conflicts with the zillion-dollar superstar, the coach always loses. I was never a D’Antoni fan but what’s going to replace him now? I was kind of hoping for letting him go at the end of the season and getting Phil Jackson. Instead he’s been pushed out the door and nobody’s going to be in charge.

  • petwa

    dolan is a creep. let him come out off the shadows and trying coaching instead of doing it in the closet. i’d like to see him try to turn his multi-million $ no-defense ego child carmelo into a team player. first Walsh and now Dantoni …. what this team needs is new ownership!

    • Dave

      I cøuldn’t have said it better!

      • canemh

        who would have ever thunk it–jets mets knicks

  • blic

    say good bye to winning.

  • Rome

    Why is anyone surprised that this is not working? Check the history Donnie Walsh loser in Indiana. Mike D’Antonio loser in Phoenix with Amare and Nash for years. Traded 4 starters for Carmelo. Huge mistake. Trade for Tyson Chandler (can only rebound) weak defender. Only won in Dallas under Rick Carlisle defensive system. He is so overrated I can’t believe they are paying him $14 million dollars a year. He is a weak rebounder and defender and has NO post up game. They traded away a proven point guard for Tyson C. dumb move. Did not even go after Chris Paul. Go get Deron Williams from the Nets and get some real defenders to protect the paint.

  • Mike 'Antoni

    it’s not my fault that everyone on this team is soft except Chandler, Lin, and Shumpert.

  • tom v

    something had to be done, the team has to come together and play as a team

  • Mark

    I am not necessarily a Daintoni fan, but I don’t really blame him. It goes beyond the coaches to the owner. Let him coach the team and let him get a taste of his own medicine.

  • Bman

    Now its on! Later Dantoni!

    • Patrick Ewing come on down

      It is on too last place.Coach can not go out and hit shots.The interim coach will be running same program.Time to bring in Mr Ewing .Lets give one of greatest New York Players a shot to turn this around.

  • ac140

    lets hire rick astley so he can dance while he coachs the knicks. This is an excellent idea, and must be looked into. I can imagine rick astley doing that dance of his on the side lines. This will be bigger than linsanity. +1 if you agree

    • blic


  • lcantor

    And if you believe he ‘resigned’, Dolan has a cable network to sell you. Watch what we wish for, Knick fans. Could Isiah be lurking in the shadows?

  • Mike 'Antoni

    I don’t coach D.

  • Rick Clarke

    D-aint-toni was never a good fit for the Knicks and the abundance of talent and him unable to help them win was proof in the pudding! Go Mike Woodson, new interim coach of the Knicks!! De-Fense, De-Fense!!!

  • DCOnEdge

    good riddens. now get rid of Melo and Stat

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