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playoff boomlet

Mike D’Antoni: The Smartest Guy in the Room

In the midst of a typically well-written column that still smacks slightly of "Mike D'Antoni and I have never gotten along," Yahoo! Sports NBA-writer Adrian Wojnarowski unleashes a doozy of an anecdote from earlier this Knicks season. Check it out:

In the lowest of the losing, Mike D'Antoni delivered history lessons to the New York Knicks. Only the Knicks coach wasn't pitching the past of Madison Square Garden, Red Holzman and Clyde Frazier and Willis Reed, but a self-proclaimed genius born of the desert sun. Before his players, sources say, D'Antoni had started down the don't-you-know-who-I-am route and recited his résumé of 60-victory seasons and scoring records and revolutionary basketball.

He let it be known, too, that the non-believers among them should feel free to march into Donnie Walsh's office and demand his dismissal. More than one Knick privately laughed that they didn't know there was an "I" in coach.

To which we say: Huzzah, Coach D'Antoni! No offense to the cavalcade of all-stars in the Knicks locker room, but the best asset the Knicks have — both in the present and the future — is D'Antoni. After the Knicks' win over the imploding Bulls last night, they've now won six in a row at home and are sporting a shiny 53.6 percent in the NBA playoff odds. Playoff boomlets abound!

The Knicks are 11–17, which, considering those 1–9 and 3–14 black eyes they were sporting at one point, is pretty darned impressive. Players can complain to Adrian Wojnarowski all they want, but would you rather see Nate Robinson playing, or the Knicks crawling back to respectability? The Knicks play on ESPN at noon on Christmas this year, at home against the Heat. You're not going to be embarrassed to watch. Shoot, they might even win. If anyone has earned the right over the last two weeks to go the "don't-you-know-who-I-am" route, it's D'Antoni.

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