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Reports: New York Knicks Head Coach D'Antoni Resigns

Head coach Mike D'Antoni of the New York Knicks during the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at in January.
Christian Petersen
Getty Images
Head coach Mike D'Antoni of the New York Knicks during the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at in January.

Several news organizations are reporting that what had at one point been a story-book run by the New York Knicks is crashing back to reality: With the return of star Carmelo Anthony and a six-game losing streak behind him, head coach Mike D'Antoni has resigned.

Yahoo! Sports, which first reported the story, says D'Antoni has clashed with Anthony in the past. They report:

"The Knicks enjoyed a brief revival this season after D'Antoni moved Jeremy Lin into the rotation and made him the starting point guard. The Knicks won seven consecutive games from Feb. 4-15, a stretch that almost entirely coincided with Anthony's absence from the lineup because of a groin injury.

"The Knicks have gone just 2-8 since Anthony's return, losing any of the momentum they gained while he was sidelined. While fans at Madison Square Garden have taken to recently booing Anthony, he told reporters Wednesday he doesn't want to be traded."

The AP reports that D'Antoni was headed toward his third losing season, after he signed a $24 million four-year contract in 2008.

Still, The New York Times reports that D'Antoni was well liked in New York. The Times reports:

"Knicks players were said to be stunned and disappointed. Although Anthony has been frustrated by D'Antoni's system, the vast majority of the locker room supported the coach. He had the strong backing of Amar'e Stoudemire, Tyson Chandler, Jeremy Lin, Jared Jeffries and Landry Fields, the core of the team.

"The news also came as a shock to people close to D'Antoni, who apparently reached the decision sometime Tuesday night or Wednesday morning. D'Antoni coached the team at the morning shoot-around in Greenburgh, N.Y."

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Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.
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