Yes, Mike D’Antoni did lead the Knicks to their first winning season since 2000-2001, but he is still on the hot seat according to many. An above .500 record and a playoff berth doesn’t always cut it in the Big Apple.
New York is not an easy place to coach. Just ask Isiah Thomas, Larry Brown, or Lenny Wilkins. All of these coaches had winning percentages under .500 during their time with the Knicks, with only one playoff birth between them (a four-game sweep courtesy of the New Jersey Nets in 2004-2005).
While it can be argued that Mike D’Antoni coached the Knicks to an above-.500 record this season and a playoff birth, there are still the doubters that believe his coaching style will never win a championship.
To find the last Knick coach with an overall record above .500 with the team, fans would have to look back to the 2000-2001 season, when coach Jeff Van Gundy was manning the bench.
Van Gundy took over for coaching great Don Nelson in March of the 1996 season, and finished his tenure with the Knicks in 2001. During that time, he coached a total of 69 NBA Playoff games, 61 more than the Knicks have played since his departure.
Although he has not been vocal about wanting to return to the bench, Knicks fans can still speculate about what it would be like if he did.
So, for arguments sake, here are 4 reasons why Jeff Van Gundy should replace Mike D’Antoni as the coach of the New York Knicks.