Mike D’Antoni: Dollars or Ws?
This is a special feature from guest blogger Christopher Sells.
It’s nice to be wanted.
The New York Knicks have offered Mike D’Antoni a four-year contract worth $24 million, according to ESPN. The Bulls want him for their coaching job as well, but reportedly can’t offer him the type of money that the Knicks can.
Even though both teams missed the playoffs last year, the Bulls were not even close to matching the circus that was the Knicks last year. A fired coach, a midseason trade, some disputes between players and players and players and coaches, players who turned down contract extensions… All of this still doesn’t compete with a coach found guilty of sexual harassment leading (or not leading, depending on your perspective) the team to a mere 23 wins before being allowed to stay with the franchise as a consultant who isn’t allowed to have contact with the team’s players.
So if you’re D’Antoni, you get to decide whether you want to take the money or go with the team that would give you a better chance to win sooner. Of course, if winning were an issue, why leave Phoenix? Yes, the Shaq trade was questionable, but you still won 50+ games. Surely a summer used to get some free agents and a training camp with the team together would only improve things.
While Chicago and New York are the teams at the forefront of all of this, there are rumors that other teams like Toronto also could vie for D’Antoni’s services. Apparently a coach that hasn’t won anything in the postseason but puts fans in the seats with his run and gun philosophy can command the market like this.
We’ll just have to wait and see what D’Antoni wants to do.