Mike D’Antoni Quit Knicks Because Of Melo, Reveals Why He Shaved His Mustache


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The Mike D’Antoni era in New York was not a prosperous one, the “Seven Seconds or Less” coach ended his tenure as the Knicks coach with a dismal 121-167 record. Now D’Antoni said he ended his Knicks coaching stint in 2012 because Carmelo Anthony forced him to leave.

D’Antoni was only Melo’s coach for two years, but in that short amount of time, the two clashed.

At the end of the relationship, D’Antoni claimed that “Anthony said the team needed to choose between him and D’Antoni.”

So D’Antoni made management’s decision an easy one.

“I just went in and quit,” D’Antoni said.

Last summer, D’Antoni blamed Anthony for sabotaging the Knicks. During an appearance on “The Vertical” podcast D’Antoni said Anthony held resentment toward Jeremy Lin and he couldn’t convince Melo to move to power forward to accommodate the point guard.

“So now it’s like, what are we going to do? We could see how to go and I didn’t know how to get there and with losing again and you’re trying to prod them and you’re trying to tell ‘em to play harder and all the coach’s speak and communication just like deteriorated,” D’Antoni said.

This is the second time in the last few months that one of Melo’s coaches went after the scoring machine. In December, Carmelo’s former Denver Nuggets coach George Karl took a shot at Anthony.

In his book titled Furious George, Karl said Anthony’s immaturity stemmed from an upbringing without a father.

“Kenyon (Martin) and Carmelo carried two big burdens: all that money and no father to show them how to act like a man,” Karl wrote.

“I want as much effort on defense — maybe more — as on offense,” Karl said. “That was never going to happen with Melo, whose amazing ability to score with the ball made him a star but didn’t make him a winner.

“He really lit my fuse with his low demand of himself on defense,” he continued. “He had no commitment to the hard, dirty work of stopping the other guy. But since Carmelo only played hard on one side of the ball, he made it plain he couldn’t lead the Nuggets, even though he said he wanted to.”

When Melo was traded to the Knicks, Karl said Anthony’s departure was “a sweet release for the coach and the team, like popping a blister.”

In other Mike D’Antoni news, if you’ve wondered why he shaved his iconic mustache it’s because of his wife:

They engage in good-natured arguments over just about everything. Before Mike was hired by the Rockets last May, one dispute revolved around the spelling of a word. Laurel can’t even remember the word, but she remembers Mike’s stubbornness. “He was convinced he was right,” she says, “but I knew I was right.” She proposed a bet: If Mike was wrong, he would have to shave his mustache. Mike, so convinced of his rectitude that he was willing to put his most famous physical attribute on the line, accepted the bet, and that’s why Mike D’Antoni’s mustache has a Twitter account but Mike D’Antoni doesn’t have a mustache.

The Knicks and Phil Jackson are allegedly going to look into shipping Carmelo out of New York this summer, but the superstar does have a no-trade clause.

[NYDN]

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