Best Endearingly Uncomfortable Coach-Team Pairing - 2008
Knicks and Mike DÂ’Antoni
You may have observed that last year?s Knicks squad was absolutely hideous. Mercifully, that debacle?s primary architect, Isiah Thomas, has been relieved of his head-coaching duties. (Though he remains in the organization and will be paid $18 million this year not to talk to his former players.) But the debacle remains: a ragtag collection of woeful contracts and uncomplimentary players ?led? by Stephon Marbury and Eddy Curry, as undynamic a duo as they come. This year, and the next, they will most probably still really suck. But they may suck endearingly, and entertainingly, thanks to new head coach Mike D?Antoni, himself recently cast off by the Phoenix Suns after a half-decade of manic, high-octane, wildly enjoyable run-and-gun basketball that yielded myriad admirers but, alas, no championship. (Someone even wrote a book about his system, called Seven Seconds or Less?as in that?s how long it usually took someone to shoot.) Mike is a jovial, fiery guy about to impose his fast, cheap, and out-of-control style onto a team of disgruntled malcontents more inclined to run their mouths than the floor. Results will be hilarious and/or fatal. And anyway, we?re all just sitting around until 2010, when Lebron James becomes a free agent. Have fun at the circus.