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Mike D’Antoni Always Enjoys Mocking Nate Robinson

There's not all that much more to say about the Knicks' 110-106 loss to the Celtics last night. Tracy McGrady looked tired, Sergio Rodriguez looked better, Bill Walker finally got to play, and the Knicks lost their eighth in a row, a streak that still almost feels like an afterthought. The only people with a vested interest in whether the Knicks win games right now are Jazz fans. (Thanks again, Isiah.)

Anyway, before the game, reporters asked Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni if he was worried about facing an inspired Nate Robinson, the player the team had just traded to the Celtics and one who had famously feuded with the coach while a Knick. We loved his response:


"I really thought more about [Kevin] Garnett, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, [Rajon] Rondo, [Kendrick] Perkins. Then Nate. But he'll be supercharged."

It's funnier, too, when you consider that Pierce didn't even play last night. Robinson played nearly seventeen minutes and scored four points. The Knicks lost.

D'Antoni, throughout his difficult two seasons in New York, has never lost his sense of humor — we enjoyed when he said he'd play Satan himself if he could score and grab boards — and even though players like Robinson and Al Harrington and Eddy Curry and Larry Hughes have had problems with him, well, those are exactly the type of players you want to have problems with you when you're a coach: Isiah players.

As for the rest of this season, we hope D'Antoni keeps that sense of humor. Oh, and Danilo Gallinari remembers it's okay to shoot and play hard, even though Tracy McGrady's here. He seems to have forgotten.

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Photo: Michael Dwyer/AP