Linsanity may have been fun for the general public, but evidently it was not the most fun time for the New York Knicks’ locker room.
Former Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni told Adrian Wojnarowski’s The Vertical podcast that it was difficult to get the Linsanity Knicks playing well because teammates resented him and refused to adapt their games to best accommodate him.
“It was there, it’s real,” D’Antoni said, via Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News. “The problem that we had was that for Jeremy to be really good, which he was, he had to play a certain way. It was hard for him to adapt.
“Amar’e [Stoudemire], Melo [Carmelo Anthony], whatever, had to play a certain way too to be really, really good. So there was that inherent conflict of what’s better for the team? What isn’t? Can they co-exist? Can they not? And again, they could have co-existed if Melo went to [power forward], which he really didn’t want to and Amare came to back-up Tyson [Chandler at center], which he didn’t want to. So now it’s like, what are we going to do? We could see how to go and I didn’t know how to get there and with losing again and you’re trying to prod them and you’re trying to tell ’em to play harder and all the coach’s speak and communication just like deteriorated.”
D’Antoni said that Anthony in particular was slow to adapt.
“I had one vision that I wanted him to play one way,” D’Antoni said. “He wanted to go the other way. I couldn’t get to my way.”
Stoudemire has made some assertions about Anthony’s role in Linsanity that aren’t positive. D’Antoni seems to be saying as much too. For whatever talent that Knicks team had, it seems that they just couldn’t coexist behind the scenes.