D’Antoni quits Knicks post; assistant/brother Dan fired

New York Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni resigned his position Wednesday and his staff, including brother and former longtime Socastee High coach Dan D’Antoni, was fired a short time later, GrandStrandSportsReport.com has learned.

Mike D’Antoni has been in an ongoing battle with star free agent Carmelo Anthony, who according to multiple media reports called for the coach’s firing and demanded to be traded following Monday night’s 104-99 loss to the Chicago Bulls.

The former coach was in the final season of a four-year contract with New York, which went 121-167 during his tenure.

“He clearly felt it was best for the organization if he were not to continue as coach of the team. He did offer to stay,” Knicks owner James Dolan said. “After a long discussion, we did agree it was best for the organization to have new voice moving forward.”

Assistant Mike Woodson was named interim head coach and will guide the team starting with Sunday’s home game against the Portland Trail Blazers.

Speculation has swirled about D’Antoni’s future after the Knicks went 2-8 since star forward Carmelo Anthony returned to the lineup from injury.

The Knicks had reeled off a seven-game winning streak upon the insertion of undrafted point guard Jeremy Lin into the lineup last month.

Anthony missed much of that time with injury, and there were concerns over whether he would be able to mesh with New York’s winning combination.

Despite rumors of a rift between D’Antoni and Anthony, the perennial All-Star said he supported the coach “100 percent.”

The Knicks had overhauled their roster in the past 12 months, acquiring Anthony from the Denver Nuggets in a blockbuster deal at last year’s trade deadline and bringing in Tyson Chandler, Baron Davis and J.R. Smith this season.

The recent swoon dropped the Knicks to 18-24 and into a tie with Milwaukee Bucks for the eighth and final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference.

Knicks owner James Dolan accepted D’Antoni’s resignation, perhaps saving himself the trouble of having to fire yet another coach. The assistants, including brother Dan, were informed of their firing a short time later. Dan D’Antoni spent 30 years at Socastee before joining his brother with the Phoenix Suns.

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