When Mike D'Antoni came to New York, Knicks fans thought bright days were just around the corner, now four years later, their head coach is out the door.
D'Antoni tried to bring over the high-caliber offense that had Steve Nash and the Phoenix Suns constantly making noise in the playoffs during the mid-2000s, but New York never reached the same heights as Phoenix did under his tenure.
While all the blame for the team's failures aren't at the feet of D'Antoni, he deserves a fair share of the blame. When the team hands you superstars such as Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony and you still can't make a run, it's probably time to resign. That's exactly what the former Knicks coach did this past Wednesday.
"Nobody saw it coming." Anthony told Brian Mahony of the Associated Press regarding D'Antoni's resignation. While the news may have been unexpected for some, it made sense to others on the squad and obviously in the front office.
Stoudemire, who has played under D'Antoni almost his whole career, had this to say to the Associated Press regarding his coach's departure.
"He had a certain ideal of a system we were supposed to implement, we all didn't quite buy into it, and he got frustrated and I think that's why he took his way out."
The offensive system that D'Antoni tried so hard to implement wasn't being accepted by certain players, such as 'Melo, and when a coach can't convince his players to play his way, there's not exactly NBA Finals hopes in the future.
The Knicks were a less-than-mediocre 121-145 during D'Antoni's tenure, proving that putting a bunch of big names together in the Big Apple don't always lead to postseason trips. His best season with the team came in 2010, when the team finished two games above .500 and second in the Atlantic Division.
All in all, D'Antoni's decision to step down may have come as a shock, but his contract would have expired at the end of this season. And given his four years with the squad and the possibility of the Knicks missing the postseason again, this move was going to happen sooner or later. For D'Antoni's sake, at least he was able to leave on his own terms and not suffer another firing.