NEW YORK The New York Knicks introduced Mike D'Antoni as their new coach Tuesday, hoping his high-scoring brand of basketball will turn around a team with seven straight losing seasons.
D'Antoni agreed to leave the Suns for the Knicks on Saturday, taking over a team coming off a 23-59 finish. He replaces Isiah Thomas, who was fired last month after going 56-108 in two seasons.
D'Antoni won at least 54 games each of the last four seasons and earned coach of the year honors in 2005. He is known as one of the NBA's top offensive minds, running a system that helped Steve Nash win two MVP awards and making the Suns one of the league's most exciting teams.
He brings his entertaining system to a team that seems ill-suited to run it. The Knicks aren't a quick team, with Eddy Curry and Zach Randolph up front and an unclear situation at point guard, but D'Antoni vows he will come up with a scheme that works with this group.
"I look at the roster and that's the roster I'm going to win with," D'Antoni said at a news conference at Madison Square Garden.
D'Antoni went 253-136 in Phoenix, but the Suns let him talk to other clubs about their jobs after losing to San Antonio in the first round.
When Knicks president Donnie Walsh learned New York was one of those teams, he said he was in Phoenix probably a day later. Walsh then beat out the Chicago Bulls to land D'Antoni and make him the 24th coach in franchise history.
"Mike is a proven winner in this league with a long impressive coaching resume in the NBA and abroad," Walsh said. "While Mike's style in Phoenix was extremely successful with a running offensive team, he can adjust his style to the personnel."