Suns guard Raja Bell was announced as a selection for the NBA's All-Defensive 2nd team. Bell was on the All-Defensive 1st team last year, but making the list is still an honor for Raja, especially considering how bad a rap the Suns get for their porous defense.
Raja is joined on the 2nd team by: Shane Battier (Rockets), Chris Paul (Hornets), Dwight Howard (Magic) and Tayshaun Prince (Pistons).
The All-Defensive 1st team was made up of MVP Kobe Bryant (Lakers), Defensive Player of the Year Kevin Garnett (Celtics), Marcus Camby (Nuggets) and the Spurs Tim Duncan and Bruce Bowen.
Can't say it wasn't coming... (Former) Suns coach Mike D'Antoni has reportedly accepted an offer to coach the New York Knicks. New York GM Donnie Walsh had narrowed his choices to Mark Jackson and D'Antoni, w/ the former being the favorite until the Suns were excused from the NBA playoffs.
The former coach of the run-and-gun Suns has accepted a four-year deal at around $6 million per year to coach the Knicks.
Knicks president Donnie Walsh chose D'Antoni over Mark Jackson.
The D'Antoni saga began Monday, when Suns general manager Steve Kerr confirmed that the coach had permission to speak to other teams about their head coaching vacancies.
Kerr acknowledged some differences with D'Antoni but repeatedly said he wanted the coach to stay. (More)
Now the pressure falls on Suns' GM Steve Kerr and owner Robert Sarver to find a replacement for Mike in Phoenix. There have been some coaches suggested (Van Gundy, Rambis, Harris, A. Johnson, Fratello, etc.), but it's hard to argue that any of those are a better choice that D'Antoni would've been. Sure, the Suns couldn't play defense consistently, but w/out offensive guidance as well, they'll be a .500 team - and in the Western Conference, that just won't cut it.
My personal choice would probably be Jeff Van Gundy, but I don't see the Suns locker room getting along w/ him too well - especially Amare & Shaq. With VG, the defense would improve immediately, but as fans, we'd be forced to watch Knicks/Rockets style of basketball, instead of what we've been accustomed to the past few years. Last time I checked also, the Knicks and Rockets (under VG), haven't won any titles.
We can only hope that Kerr and Sarver find a suitable replacement for D'Antoni - and soon. Several other teams are also in the hunt for a head coach, including the Chicago Bulls. If we don't find someone quick, they're going to be signed by another team (like Rick Carlisle signing w/ the Mavs).
The L.A. Lakers' Kobe Bryant has been announced as the league's MVP for the 2007-2008 season.
I know is particularly of interest to loyal Suns fans (NOT!), so I've got a great video for you here to help get through the offseason. Check it out.
Former Suns coach... Errr...so it's not 100% official yet, but the writing is on the wall.
GM Steve Kerr and owner Robert Sarver have given Suns' coach Mike D'Antoni permission to seek interviews w/ other teams. The three met on Friday to determine if Mike would be able to continue coaching the team and apparently he cannot. Whether that's because Mike is stubborn and wants to focus only on offense or if he's lost the locker room (see Amare's post-playoff comments), it really doesn't matter. D'Antoni is basically gone - black & white.
D'Antoni will be interviewing for both the Chicago Bulls and New York Knicks positions. Mike would be an idiot to take over in New York, considering the media scrutiny and roster of slower, half-court offense minded players. The best situation would be for him to end up in Chicago, where his uptempo style would immediately be utilized with a young, talented roster.
Think about it... Hinrich is Nash, Gordon is Barbosa, Nocioni is Marion (ok, maybe not)... plus, he'll have a hustle player in Noah, a post player in Thomas and several other role players that can make the fast-paced style work. Probably not as well as it did in PHX, but it would still be an improvement for the Bulls.
So where does that leave the Suns, who really don't have any strong candidates to replace D'Antoni.
Avery Johnson is available, and he has experience leading a mostly offensive team to the promised land (the Finals). The knocks against him - he couldn't win the championship and his team has been bounced in the 1st round of the playoffs each of the past 2 years. If he could even improve the Suns defense (good luck), then he might be a 1 year solution as a last ditch attempt at a title.
Also available are: Jeff Van Gundy, Mark Jackson (rumored to by high on Knicks list), Doug Collins and a slew of other "ok" coaches.
My personal choice would be Van Gundy, but I couldn't stand the slow, half-court offense that has been a staple of his previous teams (Knicks, Rockets). His personality seems a little abrasive as well, so the Suns' players would be in for a major shock & adjustment (compared to D'Antoni's laid back style).
Whatever happens, Suns' fans are certainly in for an exciting summer of action. A new coach and perhaps some trades - plus the NBA Draft, assuming we don't sell off all of our picks again.
Let us know who you'd like to see take over or why D'Antoni should stay.