Mike D'Antoni to be Fired, Phil Jackson Wants to be Knicks Head Coach

on March 14 2012 11:16 AM
A few weeks ago, it seemed liked Jeremy Lin had saved Mike D'Antoni's job.
A few weeks ago, it seemed liked Jeremy Lin had saved Mike D'Antoni's job. Reuters

It looks like Mike D'Antoni's tenure with the Knicks is coming to an end.

ESPN's Steven A. Smith says he believes the head coach will be fired within the next few days.

I would be shocked if Mike D'Antoni was the coach next week, said Smith on ESPN Radio.

Smith's comments come on the heels of news that Carmelo Anthony would like to be traded. Reports say Anthony wants to be dealt because he does not like D'Antoni.

The combination of D'Antoni and Anthony hasn't worked since New York traded for the forward last season. D'Antoni was reportedly against the move when it was made at last year's deadline, and Anthony knew that his head coach did not want him on the team.

Reports say Anthony does not listen to the coach, and he recently walked away from an in-game huddle while D'Antoni was addressing the team.

Anthony isn't the only player who has a problem with the head coach. Smith says multiple members of the Knicks do not like D'Anonti's coaching style, and Tyson Chandler is the only player who he can confidently say likes playing for him.

Even if D'Antoni and his entire roster had a great relationship, the coach still might be on his way out.

D'Antoni hasn't had much success since being hired in 2008. He has a 121-167 record with the Knicks, and hasn't won a single playoff game.

If New York has to choose between the two, they'll most likely decide to keep their star player and get rid of their coach. The history of the NBA is full of examples where a superstar has forced ownership to make a coaching change.

In 2004, Byron Scott was fired by the Nets after leading New Jersey to two straight NBA Finals. Reports say Jason Kidd wanted Scott out. The Kings fired Paul Westphal at the beginning of this season after Demarcus Cousins expressed his unhappiness.

If D'Antoni is let go during the season, assistant coach Mike Woodson would likely take over for the rest of the year. Woodson was the Hawks head coach from 2004-2010.

Woodson is unlikely to take over full-time. Ever since he retired at the end of last season, there has been speculation that Phil Jackson would eventually come to the Knicks.

Jackson is considered by many to be the greatest head coach in NBA history. He has 11 titles as the head coach of the Bulls and Lakers, and according to Stephen A. Smith, he wants a shot at winning a championship with the Knicks.

Smith said on Monday that Jackson will coach the Knicks if New York asks him.

There is no word on whether or not MSG chairman James Dolan would like to hire Jackson. However, it's hard to imagine that Dolan wouldn't want one of the best coaches of all time to lead the Knicks.

It seems pretty clear that D'Anonti won't be with New York next season. Unless the Knicks somehow make a deep run in the playoffs, it's hard to see him coming back as the Knicks coach in the 2012-2013 Season.

If D'Antoni's days are numbered, there's a good chance the Knicks will decide to cut the cord sooner rather than later.

UPDATE 2:35 p.m. ET: Yahoo Sports is reporting that Mike D'Antoni has resigned as Knicks head coach. A source tells Yahoo, It was a mutual decision to no longer coach the Knicks ... conflicting visions of the club's future. Mike Woodson will take over as New York's interim head coach.

More News from IBT MEDIA