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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Wednesday / August 15.
  • Coach K Backs D’Antoni, Says Lance Thomas Can Play in the NBA

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    **Read the feature on Duke and UConn invading MSG for the Preseason NIT here**

    NEW YORK — For what it’s worth, Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni has the backing of Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski.

    Coach K was the head coach on Team USA when it won the gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and D’Antoni was one of his assistants.

    “I love Mike D’Antoni. I think he’s a brilliant coach and a really good guy. He’s a guy that as a coach you can spend a long season with and enjoy it,” Coach K said.

    Now, D’Antoni is struggling with a Knicks team that is 3-11 after Tuesday night’s blowout loss to the Lakers.

    “Losing is frustrating wherever you’re at,” Coach K said. “And especially if you’ve been accustomed to winning. But there are people who are put in these situations where the chances are you’re going to lose and they end up doing winning things even while they’re losing that will translate into values and foundation for the future and I believe that Mike is one of those guys.”

    ****

    Coach K also said he believes senior forward Lance Thomas, a former St. Benedict’s Prep standout who chose Duke over Rutgers, could make an NBA roster.

    “All of a sudden someone’s going to really like Lance, whether they draft him or bring him to camp and keep him because he’s almost 6-9, he’s got great energy. He’s really improved offensively. He’s a glue guy and he can play defense and he can defend multiple positions,” he said

    Coach K said Thomas has shortcomings as a player, but has developed into a tremendous defender.

    “I think he’s our most versatile defender,” he said. “We have him guarding from centers to point guards.”

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.