Thursday , Nov , 27 , 2008 C.Y. Ellis

LeBron James: D’Antoni Is an Offensive Mastermind

Squeezed inside a Garden conference room jammed with more than 60 journalists and banks of TV cameras, LeBron James was careful not to express his desire to play for the Knicks, but raved about the Garden and coach Mike D’Antoni, calling him "an offensive mastermind."

James, before facing the Knicks four days after Donnie Walsh cleared cap space in 2010 to potentially sign him, said his relationship grew with D’Antoni during the Summer Olympics in Beijing.

"We got really close," James revealed. "Coach D’Antoni gave me a lot of freedom, he allowed me to play every position I wanted to play; I was the leader of that team, but I was also like the overseer of some offensive plays.