"Every job that's open, including high school jobs and AAU jobs, my name is mentioned," he said. "But I just wanted to say I have a great job. The best in this profession."
Never able to duplicate his success in Phoenix, D'Antoni was headed to his third losing season since signing a $24 million, four-year contract in 2008 that made him one of the NBA's highest-paid coaches. He never won a playoff game in New York, where the Knicks were focused on the future during his first two years and made numerous changes that didn't give him much of a chance to compete.
But they spent big this season, bringing in Tyson Chandler to play between Anthony and Amare Stoudemire, while adding players such as Baron Davis and JR Smith during the season.
New York returned to the playoffs last season for the first time since 2004 but lost to the Boston Celtics in the first round. In the offseason, the Knicks radically changed the team, waiving point guard Chauncey Billups through the amnesty clause to free up salary cap space to sign Chandler. They sputtered through January while trying three point guards to replace him.
D'Antoni finally turned to Lin on Feb. 4 and the Knicks took off, winning seven games in a row and looking like a threat to the top teams in the East. But it all came to a halt when Anthony returned, reinforcing the notion that his desire to get the ball in isolation didn't fit in D'Antoni's offense that focused on pick-and-rolls and quick ball movement.
D'Antoni averaged 58 wins in four full seasons in Phoenix before he was hired to replace Isiah Thomas on May 13, 2008, walking right into a two-year rebuilding plan with an eye toward clearing salary cap space for the summer of 2010.
D'Antoni always supported the plan, even though it came at the cost of his won-loss record. He was 267-172 when he arrived in New York but went 121-167 with the Knicks. Even Grunwald said he thought it had been a "rough go" of it for D'Antoni.
"We had a lot of changes, and a short season and all that stuff about the lockout, so it was a tough, tough thing to have a coach deal with all that over the course of four years," Grunwald said.
Assistant coaches Dan D'Antoni, Mike's brother, and Phil Weber also departed.
New York finished in the top 10 in scoring in each of D'Antoni's first three seasons while racking up the three highest 3-pointer totals in team history. But his offense-first style was never a natural fit in New York, where fans craved the hard-nosed, defense-first approach of the 1990s teams of Patrick Ewing, Charles Oakley, Anthony Mason and John Starks. Worse for D'Antoni, he lost his biggest backer in the front office when team president Donnie Walsh opted not to return after last season.
D'Antoni became a coaching star in Phoenix, reaching two Western Conference finals. He won a Coach of the Year award and was an assistant coach to Mike Krzyzewski with the U.S. national team.
He seemed to have the Knicks on the rise last season after landing Stoudemire. But the Knicks didn't stop there, trading four of their top six players to acquire Anthony from Denver last February before the trade deadline.
The high price, paid when Dolan reportedly overruled Walsh, put enormous pressure on D'Antoni and Anthony to make it work, and they never really could. Anthony was shooting a career-low 40 percent and at times his frustration was evident. It was after Monday's loss in Chicago.
Woodson, who favors the isolation offense that Anthony has thrived in, said there would be some changes, but didn't elaborate. Dolan expects them to pay off.
"The season is not over and this team can still be the team that our fans hope it can be," he said.
AP Sports Writer Colin Fly in Louisville, Ky., contributed to this report.
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