Suns president of basketball operations Steve Kerr requested Mike D'Antoni to focus more on defense than offense. The ultimatum came after the Spurs eliminated the Suns in the first round of the 2008 playoffs.
Then-Suns assistant general manager Vinny Del Negro privately wondered to Kerr about D'Antoni's ability to be a championship head coach.
D'Antoni took exception to those claims. He decided he wanted out of Phoenix after hearing complaints about his coaching from his bosses.
Knicks president Donnie Walsh asked Kerr for permission to interview D'Antoni when this story surfaced to the public, and Kerr gladly obliged.
It was an opportunity for Kerr to hire a new coach that shares the same vision of how to win a championship.
D'Antoni also interviewed with then-Bulls general manager John Paxson for the Bulls' head coaching position. It looked like he was going to coach the Bulls until Jerry Reinsdorf expressed the same reservations that Kerr had.
After Reinsdorf did not want to pay up, the Knicks paid what D'Antoni wanted. The Bulls settled with hiring D'Antoni's nemesis in Del Negro.
Following the matchup between the Knicks and the Bulls Tuesday night and last night, we've seen enough games to know the Bulls made a wise choice in not hiring D'Antoni.
Last year should have been the clincher when the Bulls almost went to the next round until they lost to the Celtics in an epic seven-game series, while the Knicks went on to another uninspiring losing season.
This year will be no different. This time, the Bulls have a shot to go to the NBA Finals while the Knicks experience another miserable season.
Del Negro has gotten more out of his team than D'Antoni has with his team.
The Bulls second-year coach developed Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, and Taj Gibson into good players in the league while D'Antoni failed to do that with his young players.
Chicago managed to survive adversity under Del Negro's leadership. D'Antoni can't say the same thing.
The Bulls find a way to win games along with entertaining their fans when their team plays; the Knicks bore their fans to the point they have become apathetic towards their team now.
In the last two nights, the Bulls outclassed the Knicks when it came to talent and coaching.
On Tuesday night, the Knicks quit against the Bulls at Chicago. The Bulls knew how to score from the paint, and they hit their shots without any resistance.
Last night, the Knicks couldn't respond to the Bulls' run in the second half in an 115-109 loss after dominating the Bulls in the first half.
The Knicks spent a fortune in getting D'Antoni to coach their team, yet they have received nothing out of their investment. All the Knicks coach has done is alienate his players.
It's time for a coaching change once this season is over.
This coach is not winning a championship in New York. He never was a good coach to begin with if one looks at his track record before Steve Nash came to Phoenix as a free agent.
Even with the great players, he could not take the Suns to a championship level. The Suns were a nice regular-season team, but come playoff time, the Spurs exposed their deficiencies.
Gregg Popovich outcoached the then-Suns coach everytime the Spurs played the Suns.
Now as Knicks coach, D'Antoni continued to show no interest in learning how to run a defense. He believes his team can win by outscoring their opponent.
This theory does not make sense. It's hard for a team to do that when the other team plays a great defense.
For all the accolades D'Antoni received for being an offensive genius, he has yet to figure out how to get the most out of the Knicks when it comes to running an offense.
Too many times, guys are confused when it comes to knowing the offense.
It should make free agents think twice about playing for D'Antoni. If they want to win a championship, they should stay away from him.
The Knicks need to find a way to get LeBron James here. The first step would be to get rid of the Knicks coach and hire a coach that knows what he is doing.
Coaches such as Lawrence Frank, Sam Mitchell and Byron Scott would be fine choice. This writer endorses Scott to be the next Knicks head coach.
The bottom line is that the D'Antoni experiment has been a failure. It's not going to succeed.
It's a good bet that Reinsdorf doesn't lose sleep at night knowing what could've been if D'Antoni was coaching the Bulls.
He is feeling good about the coaching hire he made. It may turn out to be one of the best moves he has ever made as the Bulls owner.
The results speak for themselves.