Mike D'Antoni has resigned as head coach of the New York Knicks. Now, before you blow up and throw out names like Phil Jackson, Larry Brown and Jerry Sloan at me, let me tell you why Jeff Van Gundy is the choice to take over as head coach.
The Garden faithful will not put the full blame on superstars Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire. They want to believe that Jeremy Lin is the answer and that Steve Novak will shoot the team out of the gutter, but the reality is that in such a big media market like New York that you need a proven head coach that can handle the media, superstars and fans.
Van Gundy is the man for this job. Assistant coach Mike Woodson will take over the team for the remainder of the season; however, unless he somehow leads New York to the NBA championship, he will not be roaming the sidelines as head man next season.
During last offseason, ABC analyst Mark Jackson got his first opportunity to coach in the league by accepting a job with the Golden State Warriors. Now, Van Gundy could be primed to make a return to the sidelines.
Why? The urge is still there. Van Gundy is a New York guy who could reignite the Knicks with the type of determination, grit and inner perseverance the Patrick Ewing-led Knicks had throughout the 1990s.
Some have mentioned Ewing, John Starks and Charles Oakley as possible replacements. The Knicks cannot go with a rookie (to the NBA) coach with the roster they currently have. Amar'e and 'Melo are best suited playing under a respected veteran.
Convincing Van Gundy may be the most difficult part. He knows all too well the "toxic" that lays at the top of the Knicks organization and no amount of money from owner James Dolan will please JVG unless he is completely happy with the situation he will take over.
JVG's approach is exactly what the current New York Knicks need. They have their best defensive big man in Tyson Chandler since the Ewing era, and have a scorer like Anthony that Knicks teams in the past have not had. There is also no doubt that the players will "play" for Van Gundy.
He is the type of coach that garners immediate respect and will not settle with carefree attitudes.
The bottom line is wins and losses. For this team with this talent to be under .500 is a disgrace and bringing in a coach like JVG would be a start to bringing back New York to the Promised Land.
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