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| HOME |2008.05.11 Sun
An Open Letter to Mike D’Antoni...Dear Mike:
Good luck on your new job with the New York Knicks. Goodness knows, that once-storied franchise needs all the help it can get. If you can turn the Knicks around and get them back in the playoffs, you’ll be a toast of the town. And if eventually you can get them deep into the playoffs, you’ll be a deity – at least for a time – in one of the greatest cities on Terra Firma.
Mike, thanks for coaching one of the most entertaining Suns teams I have had the pleasure to watch in during the history of the franchise. Your 2004-05 squad, along with Cotton Fitzsimmons’ 1988-89 team, were wide-open offenses that rarely disappointed. You’ll always get credit for having the chutzpah to play the five best players that year, rather than picking a squad strictly by positions. There was the ultimate floor general in Steve Nash, with his elliptical probes of the opponents’ defense to either find or create a flaw. Nash won 2 MVP trophies during your tenure and quickly entered the Suns pantheon of uber-point guards along with Kevin Johnson and
Joining Nash was Joe Johnson, who size, iron-man stamina and multiple skills made him a match-up nightmare for opposing coaches. JJ didn’t say much, rather, he let his game do his talking for him. Also on the perimeter was Quentin Richardson. Q rode fly with his trey barrages and looked phat with his million-candle-power personality, fist-to-head pounds and celebrity babe, Brandy.
Which brings us to the other iron-man, the Matrix, Shawn Marion. The Matrix had perhaps the quickest second jump in the league, if not in NBA history. Shawn might make a mistake, but then his quick reflexes would eradicate the original sin. Like Johnson, he was a match-up nightmare. And we can’t forget the player Q called Hell-Boy. Amare Stoudemire possessed the huge soft hands of Connie Hawkins and the outcourt speed of Walter Davis in a power forward’s body. Except he really wasn’t a power forward, nor was he a traditional center. What he was a potential peptic ulcer for players who tried to police the paint. Ask the Portland Trailblazers, as he went around, over and through them for 50 points one night.
One great trade in the season enhanced the team when the team obtained Jimmy Jackson. Jimmy Jax was instant offense off the bench, a great shooter who could play three positions and help spread the floor. A playoff injury to Johnson threw a wrench in what could have been a storybook ending. It was a great ride, nevertheless. Thanks again and good luck. You may not have the support from upper management, but players were upset, and most fans know you'll be missed in Phoenix. I know I'll miss you, didn't always agree with what you did, but I like you as a coach for my team. Your SSOL Suns saved the NBA. Again, Thanks, you helped make the NBA vibrant again, good luck in NY.
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