| 8 years ago||
thanks to NYK Italianfan from Knicks 4 Life forum who translated the interview
Italian best selling sport newspaper, La Gazzetta dello Sport, features a full-page interview with Mike D'Antoni:
D'ANTONI: SHOWTIME IN NEW YORK
Q.: Mike, are you worried about Gallinari's back?
A.: No, he only needs to rest. He's been playing a lot and the other day he got crumpled by "Tractor" Traylor, took a huge hit. I like what I saw from Danilo in that game, there are things you cannot teach, and Danilo's got game."
Q.: Why did you choose New York? It looked like it was almost done with Chicago.
A.: It's pretty simple: the Knicks had more room for improvement, and I like the idea of working with Donnie Walsh. Finally, I considered also both cities, and New York won.
Q.: Do you think any of your NY players can fit easily to your coaching philosophy?
A.: This team's got more talent than people think. Crawford, Robinson, Curry, their all very good players. Of course, we don't have Steve Nash, who's invaluable. But there are different ways to achieve my goals on offense. We will surprise a lot of people. We can become a playoff team...Who knows? Maybe even this year."
Q.: So you're very optimistic about the Knicks Renaissance?
A.: Hard to do worse than last year. Of course there are great expectations here, and the pressure is very high. But I'm definitely positive that in the past season, New York's potential was by far better than its record.
Q.: Will it be hard to teach your philosophy?
A.:It will take time. I'm not expecting the players to learn it all right away. With Phoenix it was very different: we had half a season to prepare, then Steve Nash arrived. That's why we could be immediately successful
Q.:Why did you leave Phoenix?
A.:We were not on the same route anymore, and I would not be able to give it 100%. In any team, if there's no unity of intent it's impossible to work together. Since the franchise was giving me a lot of money, it didn't seem fair to me to go on like that, also for a sort of respect toward my players.
Q.: The Suns were very spectacular but they never got to the Finals, and you've been harshly criticized for your team's defense. Did you ever consider the idea of changing your coaching philosophy?
A.: I'm not gonna change. Those who criticized me don't know **** about basketball. I'm sorry, but it's the truth. Our defense has alwas been in the top ten of the League, we averaged 58 wins per season thanks to our offense. We also tried to improve on the defensive end, but I don't see any good reason to change my system.
Q.: Now you can tell us the truth: wouldn't you7 prefer if Shaq had stayed in Miami?
A.: No, really, I like Shaq, he's terrific. Of course, with him we had to change something in our game, but I'm not the stubborn kind of coach who knows only one way and nohing else.
Q.: It looks like Lebron might be coming to New York in 2010...
A.: I think he was joking. I should't even talk about him, Who knows, maybe in two years he's coming, but I have to win now.
Q.: But now you're going to have the chance to coach him at the Olympics. In Beijing, the gold is already yours, right?
A.:It's not gonna be that easy for us. Everybody is expecting the gold medal, otherwise they will talk about disaster. All I know is that now we should have the right mentality, let's hope we won't be bothered by any bad luck
Q.:Bargnani was a little bit disappointing last year. Did you follow him?
A.:I'm sure he's going to be a very good NBA player. sometimes your second year in the League is a very tough one. Andrea's got a lot of talent though, he's gonna prove it in this upcoming season