Carmelo Anthony and Mike D’Antoni kiss and makeup for Team USA.
“Maybe we’ll visit the Grand Canyon together,’’ former New York Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni joked as he spoke about his current relationship with his former player/nemesis Carmelo Anthony as the two prepare to work together as part of Team USA’s men’s basketball jaunt.
How the two would get along during this process has been a bubbling sub-plot to this year’s squad and the pair was quick to discuss their current relationship at team activities in Las Vegas.
“We joked, we laughed and talked,’’ Anthony said after the U.S. Olympic Team practice according to the New York Post. “I told you back then we were fine and I had nothing to do with it. As long as he knows and I know, everything else is irrelevant. He knows I had nothing to do with [his departure]. I know I had nothing to do with that. It’s a decision he and [Knicks owner James] Dolan came to and they made that decision.’’
Regardless of how hollow these words may ring as it’s widely known that D’Antoni’s departure was largely due to an either he-goes-or-I- go style showdown, Anthony has no other choice but to play nice.
The spirit of this team can not be broken thanks to some personal issues that have no place within this situation.
Kudos to Melo for doing the right thing.
D’Antoni went as far as to joke with Knicks coach Mike Woodson who was in attendance and offer his assessment of the Jason Kidd acquisition and how it will impact New York.
“He will be a great leader,’’ D’Antoni said. “He’ll definitely be good whether Lin comes back or not. I’m assuming he would.’’
On how, Kidd will provide that positive influence, D’Antoni backed away.
“I don’t know how to answer that. I’m not going to answer. That’s for Woody to figure out. Anytime you add someone of his class and talent at his position it’s good. And they’ll figure it out. That’s what he does. He wins.’’
There you have it, unless Team USA takes a bath and misses the medal stand, Carmelo Anthony and Mike D’Antoni will be just fine.
If the impossible/improbable happens, then expect somebody to start breaking out that “accountability” word again.