Mike D'Antoni: New York Lights or Chicago Nights?

Matt SmithSenior Analyst IMay 10, 2008

Mike D'Antoni, head coach of the Phoenix Suns, has apparently grown unhappy with his current situation in Arizona.  D'Antoni has been granted permission by the team last week to have talks with other teams about their head coaching positions, primarily the New York Nicks and the Chicago Bulls.

Many of you may ask why leave a team that you have had as much success with, that has a two-time MVP in Steve Nash, and competes night in and night out with the best in the west?

Well the fact is Steve Nash, Shaquille O'Neil, and Grant Hill aren't getting any younger, and D'Antoni doesn't want to waste his best years coaching a team getting older by the minute. 

With reports of a falling out with general manager Steve Kerr over coaching philosophy and player moves, a change in scenery is probably the best fit for both the Suns and D'Antoni.

So what are the options for Mike D'Antoni and the upcoming NBA off-season?  The two main job openings for the coach would be the New York Knicks and the Chicago Bulls.

New York is coming off of another horrendous year.  Going 23-59 is terrible for any team, but being in the watered down eastern conference doesn't help them much. 

After firing head coach Isiah Thomas, the Knicks are looking for an up-tempo coach who will bring some basketball excitement back to the city and get a team under control that seems to be spiraling down into nowhere.

And then there are the Bulls, who after the Jordan years just do not seem to be the same.  After hiring high expectations the last two years, the Bulls and seemingly underachieved and need something to get them going. 

They have good players, who seem like they want to play together, but just can’t get it together.  A good head coach could change that.

The Bulls overall seem to have the better talent, the better attitude, and the right mentality for D'Antoni, but as we know, what looks like the best choice is not always the one chosen.

I believe the Knicks are the best fit for D'Antoni, and here is why.  They have no expectations!  They have been bad, they will be bad, and fans, players and owners know that he will not be able to turn it around in one or two years. 

Stephon Marbury's contract expires in a year, and that cancer will be out of the locker room and D'Antoni can implement his high power offense to bring excitement and some buzz back to the failing Knicks.

Instead of being an underachiever in Phoenix, D'Antoni could be a savior in a city that loves their heroes.  The estimated five year-30 million dollar deal doesn't hurt much either. 

So Mike, listen, go to New York and get the fame, the fortune, and the lime light or stay in Phoenix or head over to Chicago where the pressure could mount from the very start of your tenure.

It sounds like a simple choice to me.