Mike D'Antoni Reportedly Left NY Knicks after Demanding to Trade Carmelo Anthony

Eric Ball@@BigLeagueEballFeatured ColumnistMarch 14, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 30: Head coach Mike D'Antoni looks on over his player Carmelo Anthony #7 of the New York Knicks during the game against the New Jersey Nets at Madison Square Garden on March 30, 2011 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Then Knicks defeated the Nets 120-116.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Chris Trotman/Getty Images

James Dolan is not the most popular person in New York today.

Mike D’Antoni parted ways from the New York Knicks on Wednesday, and by all accounts, the decision was agreed upon by both parties according to a statement made by Dolan himself (via Frank Isola of the New York Daily News): 

Dolan, via a statement, says he &D'Antoni “mutually agreed that it would be best for the organization if he did not continue" coaching.

— Frank Isola (@FisolaNYDN) March 14, 2012

So why did D’Antoni give up on a season that still could be salvaged? According to NBA.com senior writer David Aldridge, it was because of a disagreement on the future of the team:

A source with knowledge of the discussions says D’Antoni and Knicks chairman James Dolan mutually agreed to terminate D’Antoni’s job with New York after the two met this morning.

D’Antoni, the source said, had been advocating that the Knicks attempt to trade Anthony to the New Jersey Nets for guard Deron Williams, a deal D’Antoni believed would be beneficial for both franchises. But Dolan categorically declined that request, and the “conflicting visions” between the owner and head coach about Anthony meant there was no way forward.

It sounds like Dolan is all-in with Carmelo Anthony. Whoever comes in to replace interim head coach Mike Woodson has to be on board despite the Knicks being 26-37 with 'Melo and 34-31 without him in the last 128 games.

The report states that D'Antoni requested a meeting Wednesday morning after his relationship with 'Melo had deteriorated rather quickly. 

Advantage: 'Melo. 

The potential lineup with Deron Williams around in a D’Antoni system would be incredibly talented. It would be extremely high-scoring, fast-paced and nobody would be hogging the ball. As great of a scorer as ‘Melo is, he's an isolation player that thrives in one-on-one situations.

This is not the D’Antoni way of basketball.

Having three point guards in Williams, Jeremy Lin and Baron Davis that can run the floor, find the open man and keep the offense flowing would be a matchup nightmare.

Instead, Dolan has made it clear this is ‘Melo’s team and everybody else has to adjust accordingly. Today's decision sends a message loud and clear about who is important within the organization. 

Dolan is a hardheaded owner that loves to remind people he is the one making all of the decisions.

Today is just the latest example.