Doc Rivers Can Relate to Mike D'Antoni | Zagsblog
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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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Friday / June 21.
  • Doc Rivers Can Relate to Mike D’Antoni

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    NEW YORK — Doc Rivers says he can relate to Mike D’Antoni trying to win while also awaiting the heralded 2010 free agent class.

    While Rivers coached in Orlando, the Magic added Grant Hill and Tracy McGrady through sign-and-trade deals in 2000 after going 41-41 the year before.

    “It’s funny. I thought the reason we got McGrady and Grant Hill was because we went 41-41 that year and they said, ‘You know what, they’re not that far off,’ so I thought the winning actually was as important as anything,” Rivers said before the Celtics beat the Knicks 107-105 in OT on a last-second jumper by Kevin Garnett Sunday at MSG. “Obviously, the money was very important as well. But I thought us winning allowed those guys to even look at our franchise.”

    The Knicks are trying to win enough games this year to attract LeBron James, Dwyane Wade or Chris Bosh when they become free agents next summer.

    “It’s tough. With Mike, that’s tough because every night you’re coaching to win the freaking games and everybody else is talking about — our year Grant Hill, McGrady, Tim Duncan — and I’m trying to get the guys to  commit to playing a role and they’re thinking, ‘Why, I’m not going to be here next year?’”

    Rivers added that it was important for the Knicks to show they can win enough this year to attract free agents.

    “It’s important,” he said. “It’s probably a lot tougher for Mike than it was for me because of the market. No one talked about Orlando every night on every newscast and they do about the Knicks.”

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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.

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