A few short weeks ago, the Knicks were coached and general managed by one of the worst to ever hold either position. Today, our president of basketball operations (which at this stage is also in effect GM) is Donnie Walsh, one of the most respected and successful of the last 20 years, and our coach is one of the 3-5 best in the league, Mike D'Antoni.
Pretty damn sweet.
I was all set for Mark Jackson, ready to watch the rebuilding project with young, inexperienced players and a young, inexperienced coach. Then Avery Johnson got fired, and it looked like he was gonna be the guy, and I wasn't that pumped, but at the same time anything would be an improvement over the last regime. Then the great reports came out that Phoenix was letting D'Antoni shop around for another job. It looked like he would choose Chicago, since they supposedly have more talent than we do*. But he's ours now.
*This is bullcrap. I'd take Marbury/Crawford/Chandler/Lee/Curry/Randolph/Balkman/Nate/our sweet lottery pick over Hinrich/Gordon/Deng/Nocioni/Noah/Thomas/Sefolosha/whoever else you want to put here.
Quentin Richardson's best years came with Phoenix, Marbury's been talking how he wants to play like Phoenix (whatever makes him happy, his contract's expiring after this season so it'd be nice to see Starbury back in action leading us to where we need to go) and it'll be a lot of fun to see Zach Randolph try to get a shot off in 7 seconds or less. D'Antoni's system is built for athletic players who can run and shoot. While Curry and Randolph (and of course Jerome James) don't exactly fit the bill, guys like Marbury, Crawford, Nate, Chandler, Q, Balkman/Jeffries if they learn how to shoot, and Lee should all thrive with the change. I still think Curry's only hope is for Patrick Ewing to come in as an assistant coach and do with him what he did with Dwight Howard.
Oh yeah, we also have a sweet lottery pick coming our way.
The only possible downside is D'Antoni's bad defensive reputation. I think this is greatly overstated; it's not his fault Steve Nash is in his mid-30s with a bad back, and other than that glaring hole Phoenix had solid defense the last few years, especially after the Shaq trade. Also, hopefully he'll be bringing in solid defensive coaches to help out with that.
Now just because we got D'Antoni doesn't mean we should completely change up the rebuilding plan. I'm not too happy with these Barbosa/Diaw rumors because their contracts are insane and that's what we're trying to get away from. But we're no longer the laughingstock of the league, and that's pretty damn sweet.