Mike D’Antoni didn’t have a problem about coaching Carmelo Anthony again in Houston.
Mike D’Antoni had a successful coaching tenure with the Phoenix Suns before fumbling around with the Knicks and Lakers. Eventually, he found his sweet spot again with the Houston Rockets. But in New York, D’Antoni’s relationship with Carmelo Anthony really took a turn for the worst when he coached the superstar back in 2012.
At the time, Melo had suffered an injury and Jeremy Lin went on an insane month-long run that was eventually dubbed as “Linsanity.” Lin’s style of play was more aligned with D’Antoni’s “pace and space” philosophy. Mike D’Antoni wanted to focus more of the Knicks’ offense around Jeremy Lin, but Carmelo was opposed to the change.
Carmelo was so fed up, that he went to the Knicks front office and proclaimed that they would have to choose between him and D’Antoni. Fortunately, they never had to make that tough decision, because Mike D’Antoni eventually quit his coaching job for the Knicks.
For the majority of the offseason, the Houston Rockets were Anthony’s preferred destination. With such a rough history between the two, many wondered if D’Antoni actually wanted Anthony in Houston. Apparently, he would have been fine coaching Melo for a second time, via ESPN’s Ian Begley.
“Oh yeah. We all get a little bit, hopefully, better at what we do. And it’s a whole different situation and we know that James (Harden) and Chris (Paul) are good friends (of Carmelo’s) so it’s a whole different thing. Actually after New York, we went to USA Basketball and we won a gold medal again so it’s not like it’s anything new.”
Despite their tattered history, its nice to hear that a D’Antoni-Anthony reunion wouldn’t have been problematic for either party. Of course, Carmelo Anthony was dealt to Oklahoma City, so this comment doesn’t really matter now.
But the takeaway from all of this is that the Houston Rockets organization as a whole is dedicated to winning as many games as possible, despite petty personal differences or past mistakes.