The question, regardless of how absurd it was, dogged Carmelo Anthony for weeks.
“Can he play with Jeremy Lin?”
Mike D’Antoni believed he already knew the answer, and once he decided to hitch his wagon to an undrafted and unproven point guard with a handful of NBA starts last season, the battle lines between coach and All-Star had been drawn.
On Thursday, D’Antoni returns to Madison Square Garden for the first time since stepping down as Knicks coach last March. The theory is that D’Antoni couldn’t co-exist with Anthony and wanted out. Unfortunately for D’Antoni, that development has been the best thing to happen to the Knicks in years. Since D’Antoni’s departure, the Knicks have gone 34-11 under Mike Woodson, including 16-5 this season.