Mike D’Antoni: Carmelo Anthony Resented Jeremy Lin During ‘Linsanity’

Bryan Brandom
(Photo: Getty)

Four months ago, former New York Knicks big man Amare Stoudemire hinted that all wasn't well between Carmelo Anthony and Jeremy Lin during the brief 2012 craze known as "Linsanity."

“If [Lin] stayed it would’ve been cool. But everyone wasn’t a fan of him being the new star. So he didn’t stay long,” Stoudemire said. “But Jeremy was a great, great guy. Great teammate. He put the work in and we’re proud of him to have his moment. A lot of times you gotta enjoy someone’s success. And that wasn’t the case for us during that stretch.

“You got to let that player enjoy himself and cherish those moments. He was becoming a star and I don’t think everybody was pleased with that.”

Now Mike D'Antoni, the Knicks head coach at the time who was recently hired to helm the Houston Rockets, has all but confirmed that Anthony wasn't willing to accept a role change in favor of Lin, who came out of nowhere to star for the team that season and this summer signed with the nearby Brooklyn Nets.

“It was there, it’s real,” D’Antoni said on The Vertical Podcast of the resentment toward Lin. “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, Melo, whatever, kinda had their way they had to play a certain way to be really, really good. So there was that inherent conflict of: What’s better for the team? What isn’t? Can they coexist? Can they not? And again, they could coexist if Melo went to the 4, which he really didn’t want to, and if Amar’e came to the backup [center], like the Tyson [Chandler], which he didn’t want to.”

In other words, Anthony and Lin both needed the ball in their hands consistently to remain effective. This isn't a problem for star players who have complementary skills and can play off the ball. The new-look Golden State Warriors won't have trouble sharing the rock because Klay Thompson is a catch-and-shoot maniac and Kevin Durant has plenty of experience taking a backseat to Russell Westbrook. The old Boston Celtics "Big 3" possessed the perfect blend of skills—Paul Pierce created, Ray Allen stretched the floor without touching the ball, and Kevin Garnett was happy to be a finisher and the team's defensive anchor.

D'Antoni would resign from the Knicks in 2012 with a record of 121-167. And soon after, Anthony moved to power forward as the coach wanted all along.

“It’s funny, right after I resign, Amar’e gets hurt and they move Melo to (power forward) because he had to, and that’s okay with Melo because Amar’e wasn’t there. And they exploded,” D’Antoni said. “And it was like, oh man, I resigned two weeks too early. Then we could’ve overcome our problems.”

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