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D'Antoni agrees to coach Knicks

May 11, 2008|From the Associated Press

Mike D'Antoni has agreed to coach the New York Knicks, bringing his entertaining offensive style from the Phoenix Suns to a team coming off one of the worst seasons in franchise history.

The Knicks released a statement Saturday night saying they had agreed in principle with D'Antoni and that a news conference would be held once the contract had been completed.

D'Antoni had two years and $8.5 million left on his Phoenix contract. Suns owner Robert Sarver wouldn't confirm that D'Antoni had taken the New York job earlier Saturday, but said, "Mike called me this morning to thank me, so I figured this was up."

The offer is reportedly for $24 million over four years, making him one of the NBA's highest-paid coaches. The Chicago Bulls also interviewed D'Antoni for their coaching job.

D'Antoni replaces Isiah Thomas, who was fired in April after the Knicks went 23-59, tying the franchise record for losses in a season. D'Antoni will become the Knicks' sixth coach since the start of the 2002-03 season.

The 57-year-old D'Antoni led the Suns to a 55-27 record last season and was coach of the year in 2005. He had a 232-96 regular-season record the past four years, but the Suns were eliminated in the first round by San Antonio last month. The Suns then gave D'Antoni permission to pursue other openings.

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The Dallas Mavericks made it official, announcing that they had hired Rick Carlisle to replace Avery Johnson as their coach.

Donnie Nelson, the Mavericks' president of basketball operations, said in a statement that Carlisle was "our top choice from the onset."

A news conference is expected Wednesday, when owner Mark Cuban returns to Dallas.

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