SI Reporting That D'Antoni is Done In the Valley Of The Sun

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» Wed Apr 30, 2008 4:23 am
Thought this was Warriors related as he is pretty much the only coach who could take over our team without wanting/needing to bust it up completely.

They mentioned him being offered jobs by New York, Toronto and Chicago................but what do you guys think about him taking us if Nellie doesnt return (even if Nellie does return by steps aside for D'Antoni)

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/w ... ml?eref=T1

SAN ANTONIO -- Mike D'Antoni, the NBA's Coach of the Year for the 2004-05 season and the man credited with reinvigorating fast-break basketball in a league gone stale, will not be back to coach the Phoenix Suns for the 2008-09 season, SI.com has learned.

D'Antoni deferred questions about his job status after the Suns were eliminated by the San Antonio Spurs in Game 5 of their Western Conference first-round playoff series on Wednesday night.

"I'm just really proud of my guys," D'Antoni said after the Spurs' 92-87 win that marked the third time in four years that San Antonio has ended the Suns' season.

D'Antoni did not address his own situation. But sources within the organization confirm that D'Antoni feels he does not have the backing of upper management --specifically owner Robert Sarver and general manager Steve Kerr -- and considers the situation irredeemable.

The Suns have long been one of the NBA's model franchises, and both D'Antoni and Kerr, for whatever differences they might have about the direction of the team, are respected around the league. It's hard to believe, then, that D'Antoni's situation would devolve into an ugly, protracted war, New York Knicks style.

How exactly the scenario unfolds depends largely on whether D'Antoni gets another job offer. The most palatable scenario for all in Phoenix would be this: Team A asks the Suns for permission to talk to D'Antoni, who has two years left on his contract; Suns say OK; D'Antoni interviews and is hired.

One landing spot for him would seem to be Chicago, where general manager John Paxson has not yet replaced Jim Boylan, who himself replaced Scott Skiles (now in charge in Milwaukee). The Bulls underachieved this season under both coaches but would seem to have the kind of offensive nucleus (Ben Gordon, Luol Deng, Kirk Hinrich, Andres Nocioni) with which D'Antoni could build.

One other possibility is New York, where new president Donnie Walsh is taking his time making a head-coaching decision despite speculation that the hiring of former point guard Marc Jackson is a done deal. There has also been whispers of D'Antoni's taking over in Toronto, where Sam Mitchell's coaching future is an ongoing discussion and where Bryan Colangelo, D'Antoni's former boss in Phoenix and still a close friend, is calling the shots. But Toronto doesn't seem as comfortable a fit for D'Antoni as Chicago or even New York. Don't look for that to happen.

As is the custom with all NBA teams, D'Antoni will meet soon with Sarver and Kerr, together or separately. Kerr said before Sunday's Game 4, which turned out to be the Suns' lone series win, that D'Antoni's departure was not a fait accompli as far as he is concerned. He would not comment on D'Antoni's status after Game 5. But a source said that Kerr would make a few demands in the postseason debriefing: that D'Antoni devote more practice time to defense; have more confidence in his bench players, i.e., go to an expanded rotation; develop a clearer plan for a point guard to back up Steve Nash; and get more planned touches out of Amaré Stoudemire in post-up situations.

D'Antoni, sources say, believes that the situation has been festering all season and that nothing would be accomplished in the meeting. Whatever the circumstances of his departure, it will probably be presented as as a rift between coach and GM, and to a large extent that's true. But when Colangelo left for Toronto, mostly because he and Sarver were doomed not to coexist harmoniously, D'Antoni lost his biggest booster in the front office, as well as a friend. It's what happens in the NBA and in all pro sports.

Over four full seasons D'Antoni racked up a 232-96 record, made the Western finals twice and changed the way that observers both in and out of the league thought about the game. Management might have some legitimate gripes about his defensive coaching, and remember that D'Antoni was a bigger booster of the trade for Shaquille O'Neal than Kerr was.

But Suns management now faces one extremely formidable challenge in l'affaire D'Antoni: finding someone better.
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» Wed Apr 30, 2008 4:57 am
If Nelllie retires, I'd be ok with D'Antoni. It would be a solution of continuity, which is not a bad thing, considering our roster.

Although I'm pretty sure we'd be hearing the same b*tching about D'Antoni than we're hearing now about Nellie.
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» Wed Apr 30, 2008 4:59 am
TMC wrote:If Nelllie retires, I'd be ok with D'Antoni. It would be a solution of continuity, which is not a bad thing, considering our roster.

Although I'm pretty sure we'd be hearing the same b*tching about D'Antoni than we're hearing now about Nellie.


Yeah..........its a tough one really, as D'Antoni isnt really the guy to take us over the hump, maybe a more streamlined running game and a more sensical approach...........but still the same ultimate problems.

Trouble is, the only alternative is having this team ripped apart.........which is tough. :cry:

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» Wed Apr 30, 2008 11:49 am
I don't think the coach is as big of concern as getting the right or better players. IMO that our starters are not good enough to get us over the hump. The hump being a threat to contend for a championship. I don't think we should be afraid to improve on Baron, Biedrins, and especially Jackson. If we go into next season with the same starters we should expect the same results. All of these guys had their best season ever, and it still was not good enough. A lot of us like to blame the bench or our support players. But I think that our stars were not as good as our oppositions stars. I think Nelson probably got as much out of this team as any coach. I think the Warriors should not be afraid to shake up their starting unit

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» Wed Apr 30, 2008 12:24 pm
Phoenix has like 4-5 years of 50 plus winning seasons, a new GM. and new ownership group and totally unrealistic expectations with over the hill SHaq, G Hill and an aging Nash. Like most of Mullie's moves, we are like a day too late. With or without Nellie, this roster is ready to implode, it is too unfortunate that we don't have the committment to exellence to pick up a premier coach. Mullie history (too late on the Nash trade, moved Jamison too late to keep Arenas, 2nd fiddle to the KG trade, most likely second fiddle to the D' Antoni sweepstakes. Could of, would of, a lineup of Ellis, Biedrins, WRight, Bellenelli, an affordable BD and even a resurgent Pietrus could of ran up and down 50 win seasons for quite a while. Now we have the Jackson, Harrington, BD implosion waiting to happen as soon as Nellie calls its quits. I know Brian has the inside track, but how many chances do the Warriors have a chance at an elite coach who has the same philosophy as our GM.
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» Wed Apr 30, 2008 1:17 pm
Well, being the boyfriend of a Suns fan, I can't say that I'd agree with the decision to sign D'Antoni as our head coach. YES, he IS an excellent coach when it comes to the regular season (smart decisions, good rotation experience, and being a WINNING coach no less).

BUT - he has no "skillz" when it comes to the post-season. He has an excellent winning record but his teams uterly fall apart in the playoffs! IF Nellie is to start his LOOOOOOONG vacation a little early, I'd like to pick up Avery Johnson...although I think his pay expetancy would be a little too high...but who knows!
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» Wed Apr 30, 2008 1:53 pm
Knightofoceans wrote:BUT - he has no "skillz" when it comes to the post-season...I'd like to pick up Avery Johnson...


Last time I checked, Avery hasn't loked to great in the Playoffs either. Sure they made the Finals, once, but they choked. He coached the team that was on the receiving end of the biggest upset in Playoff history. And for a guy with a career regular-season winning % of .735 he is only 23-24 in the Playoffs.
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» Wed Apr 30, 2008 1:55 pm
sleandres wrote:
Knightofoceans wrote:BUT - he has no "skillz" when it comes to the post-season...I'd like to pick up Avery Johnson...


Last time I checked, Avery hasn't loked to great in the Playoffs either. Sure they made the Finals, once, but they choked. He coached the team that was on the receiving end of the biggest upset in Playoff history. And for a guy with a career regular-season winning % of .735 he is only 23-24 in the Playoffs.


I was going to say exactly that. He looked promising in his first year as the Mavs coach, but since they made they finals, they've been god-awful in the playoffs, to the point that he's been fired for repeatedly choking.

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Posts: 1128
» Wed Apr 30, 2008 3:56 pm
screw all this talk of d'antoni, i hate looking at his face! besides, continuity with the running game is fine if you want to make the playoffs. i'd like to win a championship one day though, and um, when is the last time a "running team" has done that? its been a real long time, hasnt it?!

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» Wed Apr 30, 2008 4:09 pm
D'antoni would be the same thing nellie is, except he'd use the rookies more (namely wright and marco). he's seen what wright could do, as has the whole nation, so of course he'd use wright and biedrins as sort of a lightweight amare and shaq. and he'd use marco about the same way he used giricek. monta is a better scoring version of barbosa, baron is a more defensive version of nash (though not as much of a pass first pg), jackson is a bigger version of raja bell plus the ability to playmake. harrington is similar to diaw plus a 3 point shot.

i wouldnt mind D'antoni coming in if nellie were to leave. his coaching style would fit right in...the biggest question really is how would baron and jax react to the situation? being the veteran leaders with strong personalities, it is tough to see them coping with a coach who has a much lesser track record than nellie's at this point in their career.
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» Wed Apr 30, 2008 5:54 pm
The Coooach wrote:I don't think the coach is as big of concern as getting the right or better players. IMO that our starters are not good enough to get us over the hump. The hump being a threat to contend for a championship. I don't think we should be afraid to improve on Baron, Biedrins, and especially Jackson. If we go into next season with the same starters we should expect the same results. All of these guys had their best season ever, and it still was not good enough. A lot of us like to blame the bench or our support players. But I think that our stars were not as good as our oppositions stars. I think Nelson probably got as much out of this team as any coach. I think the Warriors should not be afraid to shake up their starting unit


I disagree, I love our starters...its the bench that needs improvement to get us over the hump
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» Wed Apr 30, 2008 6:13 pm
I say...............Mario Ellie quits the Mavs staff..............comes back to us, Nellie shows him the ropes (he doesnt listen as much as Nellie would like)...............and Mario takes over.

He would have the respect of the players as he was always a bad ass and "players player"..............he would have the hard nosed D and hard work attitude, as well as the offensive pedigree and experience.

For the record...............I love Mario, so am slightly biased............but I think he would great as a Head Coach.
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» Wed Apr 30, 2008 6:51 pm
EMan32 wrote:D'antoni would be the same thing nellie is, except he'd use the rookies more (namely wright and marco). he's seen what wright could do, as has the whole nation, so of course he'd use wright and biedrins as sort of a lightweight amare and shaq.

The last time I looked, Phoenix was not only not playing their rookies, they were trading their draft picks. That's been going on for several years.
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» Wed Apr 30, 2008 7:41 pm
David wrote:The last time I looked, Phoenix was not only not playing their rookies, they were trading their draft picks. That's been going on for several years.


Following Sarver's orders to save money...

Rookie
Posts: 124
» Wed Apr 30, 2008 10:23 pm
guys, if nellie doesn't come back (but he - luckily - will), d'antoni would be a perfect fit - the best - for the warriors

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