Almost as soon as news got out yesterday evening that the Toronto Raptors had let go of Jay Triano as coach, the rumors started in New York. Particularly from the anti Mike D’Antoni factions.
Maybe the Raptors would come after him and steal him. After all, Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo was the Suns GM when D’Antoni was leading that franchise deep into the playoffs, so…
No. Not going to happen.
For one, Colangelo talked about switching to a more defensive focus. Nobody, not even D’Antoni’s supporters, think he’s a defensive first coach. Secondly, D’Antoni’s agent told the New York Post it’s not happening.
“There’s absolutely no truth to [Mike wanting to go to Toronto],” (Warren) LeGarie said. “It’s amusing.”
According to a Raptors source late last night, Colangelo has no plans to ask the Knicks for permission to speak with D’Antoni.
D’Antoni has not had a lot of talent to work with in New York, and when he finally got some (and had the team playing well) the roster was shook up dramatically mid-season to get Carmelo Anthony.
But next season the pressure is on him — he has talent and it is the last year of his contract. Either he proves he can win with this roster or the Donnie Walsh and the Knicks will look at their options. (No, Phil Jackson is not one of those options.)