But what that means for D’Antoni, who has one year left on his contract, is unclear after neither Carmelo Anthony nor Stoudemire gave him an endorsement following the loss.
Anthony was particularly lukewarm, and did not mention D’Antoni by name.
“It’s a long summer,” Anthony said when asked if he wanted D’Antoni back. “As far as the players go on the team or coach situation, I’m pretty sure the front office will handle it to the best of their ability. They have one of the greatest front offices in the NBA, so they will do their job. I’ll let them handle that.”
Anthony went on to say that he, Stoudemire and Chauncey Billups will meet with owner James Dolan and Walsh about making the Knicks “not just a playoff team but a championship-caliber team.” Anthony did not mention D’Antoni as part of the summit.
Since arriving, Anthony has talked periodically about his big adjustment to D’Antoni’s system and questioned the coach’s defensive scheme after a loss in Indiana. He is represented by the super agency CAA, which also handles Kentucky coach John Calipari and superstar point guard Chris Paul. The Knicks did not plan to make Walsh or D’Antoni available to the media today, when the team convenes for exit meeting, as is customary.
Asked about D’Antoni’s return, Stoudemire, who supported the coach all season, surprisingly evaded the issue, only saying he’s been “great my whole career.” However, a source familiar with Stoudemire’s thinking said Stoudemire supports D’Antoni and would do any lobbying privately.