Today’s New York Post features a lengthy Peter Vecsey interview with Mike D’Antoni. The gist of it? Mike D’Antoni’s a genius and that everything that went wrong in Phoenix was the fault of others. Ownership, Steve Kerr, pressure from the media, and Shawn Marion, etc. (which is curious, if there’s any truth to THIS)
What we found most interesting though comes at the very end of the article when Mike rips Steve Kerr and Marion for the way they handled Shawn’s contract and eventual trade to Miami. He claims that one of the first things out of Kerr’s mouth to Shawn was that he’s not as good as he thinks he is. Good start:
“Had Shawn’s contract not become an issue, I would not have done it. You cannot tell a player he’s not as good as he thinks he is (Kerr’s message the first time the new and naive GM met Shawn to negotiate an extension) and expect no carryover of negative feelings. We needed Shawn 110 percent. That’s where the unhappiness started.
“Shawn deserves blame, too. He was in a great situation and earning a great salary. At some point you’ve to understand what a great life you have. On the other hand, you’ve got to make him feel important. That’s when we got stale. If he were happy, we wouldn’t have gotten Shaq. We had a great style and players who were perfectly compatible with it.”
Source: NY POST