Mike D'Antoni talked to Adrian Wojnarowski Tuesday about his new job in Houston ... and his career, including LinSanity, the undeniably magical couple of weeks that Jeremy Lin lit up Madison Square Garden and New York.
Specifically, Woj asked the former Knicks coach, "how much resentment did Carmelo and others have for Jeremy in that run?" After chuckling and noting that he was not "in their heads," he was clear in suggesting Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire in particular didn't like what was going on.
"It was there, it's real. 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.
"Amare, Melo, 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 the 4, which he really didn't want to and Amare came to the back up 5, like with Tyson, which he really didn't want though."
D'Antoni noted, in general terms, that there was a split between the team's two superstars and those who saw the benefits of LinSanity.
"So it's now, 'what are gonna do?' and so, we needed to see how to go and I didn't know how to get there. WIth losing again and you try to prod them and tell em they got to play harder and all the coaches speak ... and communications like deteriorated.
"And then you would see the faces of the guys that went through LinSanity and they're looking at you ... and they see what we can do and w're not doing it. They get frustrated."
D'Antoni also volunteered that he became increasingly frustrated with the lack of a team mentality, noting...
"You know what, there's some guys in the league that i really want to respect me. I respect the way they play. I respect the way they look at the game and their respect, that I have their respect, is more important than having a job. If everybody else is killing me, I'd rather be killed if those guys respected me."
It was quite clear who D'Antoni was talking about ... and who he wasn't. In fact, it's the second time in recent months that a Knick coach or player has had something to say about Melo and Lin. Back in February, Stoudemire told reporters there was jealousy and he left little doubt of its source.
"If [Lin] stayed, it would’ve been cool. But everyone wasn’t a fan of him being a new star. So he didn’t stay long. Jeremy was a great, great guy, great with teammates, worked hard. He put the work in. We were proud of him having his moment. A lot of times you got to enjoy somebody else’s success. That wasn’t the case for us during that stretch. You got to enjoy that and let that player enjoy himself and cherish those moments. He was becoming a star and I didn’t think everyone was pleased with that.’’