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Mike D'Antoni: 'I shouldn't have gone to New York'

Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni expressed regret Wednesday about his decision to leave the Suns and come to New York to coach the Knicks.

Chris Trotman

Former New York Knicks and current Los Angeles Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni is opening up about his past career stops, and expressing regrets about coming to New York. In a lengthy and interesting profile by Ramona Shelburne at ESPN LA, D'Antoni discusses his decision to leave the Suns, a franchise with which he had immense success, and move to the big stage of Madison Square Garden. In a moment of reflection, D'Antoni said leaving Phoenix for New York was a mistake.

"I shouldn't have gone to New York."

[...]

"I probably irrationally made a decision right when the season was over. You should take a month to figure it out. I shouldn't have left. That was my fault."

D'Antoni repeatedly paints the move as a rash decision, telling Shelburne that he should have stayed and battled it out with Steve Nash and the Suns. Instead, he says he got frustrated and initiated the separation and began talking with the Knicks in 2008.

The new Lakers coach, of course, never approached the same success he had in Phoenix. He finished his time with the Knicks with a 121-167 record in three and a half seasons. He was let go by the Knicks in the middle of last season with an 18-24 record and widespread reports that he (and his offensive system) was clashing with superstar Carmelo Anthony.

Reunited with Nash and a cadre of stars in Los Angeles, he now seems to be in a much more comfortable place -- and is apparently plenty willing to talk about the failures of his intervening stop in New York.