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Report: Mike D'Antoni Quit Because James Dolan Wouldn't Trade Carmelo For Deron Williams

Oh, you didn't think Mike D'Antoni would go in peace, did you? You didn't think this story would pass without details of hilarious standoffs between D'Antoni and Jimmy Dolan, did you? And you didn't think Mike D'Antoni would leave without all his money, did you?

If you thought any of those things, TNT's David Aldridge is here to set you straight:

A source with knowledge of the discussions says D'Antoni and Knicks chairman James Dolan mutually agreed to terminate D'Antoni's job with New York after the two met this morning.

D'Antoni, the source said, had been advocating that the Knicks attempt to trade Anthony to the New Jersey Nets for guard Deron Williams, a deal D'Antoni believed would be beneficial for both franchises. But Dolan categorically declined that request, and the "conflicting visions" between the owner and head coach about Anthony meant there was no way forward.

D'Antoni had hoped the Knicks' inspired and winning play with Lin as the centerpiece—while Anthony and Stoudemire were injured—would convince Dolan the Knicks could win without Anthony. Bringing Williams from the Nets would also have eases the burden on Lin, D'Antoni believed, allowing Lin to settle into a three-guard rotation.

D'Antoni asked for the meeting with Dolan after his relationship with Anthony had deteriorated sharply in recent days. He will be paid the remainder of the $6 million he's due in this fourth and final year of his $24 million contract.


Melo did give D'Antoni a vote of confidence earlier today. Traditionally such things go in the other direction.


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