Mike D’Antoni’s brother shares what led to downfall of Linsanity
Linsanity was a fiery comet blazing through the sky that seemed to end just as quickly. Now one man who witnessed it firsthand is sharing some interesting insights about what led to its demise.
Speaking with Marc Berman of the New York Post this week, Dan D’Antoni, brother of then-New York Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni and himself a Knicks assistant at the time, discussed Jeremy Lin’s sudden rise and fall in 2012.
“We had won 10 of 13 games and Jeremy was the main propeller of the boat,” he said. “But you can’t run Mike’s system – and I’m not blaming Carmelo [Anthony]. It was the way Carmelo’s game was at that time. He got his rep as a mid-range jump shooter. He had every right because he won a lot of games in Denver as an elbow-iso guy. But we had that elbow-iso guy [in Amar’e Stoudemire]. If you didn’t space the floor, it puts a halt to what Jeremy was doing. It went back toward Melo and it was a difficult situation.
“It was hard to blend everything,” Dan added. “You have to have spacing. [Anthony] wanted to get back to that spot where he’d ask for the ball in a certain area. The offense Jeremy was running is more free flow, attacking off the pick and roll and kicking out to shooters. Two different styles. Mike had a hard time with it … It wasn’t Melo’s fault because Amar’e’s there. You have to have real good support from the owner, to GM, to the coach, to the star players. If those three don’t line up, it’s difficult.”
Lin, who now plays in the Chinese Basketball Association for the Beijing Ducks, became perhaps the biggest star on the planet during that memorable run with the Knicks. Anthony’s return from injury was the beginning of the end though, and the D’Antonis were replaced in favor of Mike Woodson and his staff not long after. Lin himself then left in free agency that summer.
Mike D’Antoni has since admitted that some of those Knicks had bitterness towards Lin because of his stardom, and now Dan is offering some perspective on why it wasn’t able to work from a purely on-court standpoint either.