Posted November 14, 2012

Webber rips Lakers for hiring D’Antoni after he ‘quit’ on Knicks

Ben Golliver, Brian Shaw, Chris Webber, Los Angeles Lakers, Mike D'Antoni, New York Knicks

*****

By Ben Golliver

The Knicks won’t soon forget 2012. Between Linsanity, Amar’e Stoudemire’s punching a fire extinguisher, a whirlwind summer that included the decision not to retain Jeremy Lin and the team’s league-best 5-0 start to the 2012-13 season, it’s easy to forget the depths of March, when Mike D’Antoni abruptly resigned as coach amid rumors of tension with All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony. Chris Webber, however, never forgets.


Webber, a rising star in NBA broadcasting circles, unloaded on D’Antoni for bailing on his team last season and questioned whether the Lakers made a mistake in hiring a coach who allegedly breached the trust with his former players so directly. Video of his comments, aired on NBA TV, is posted above. Here’s what he said:

“We get on players for getting tickets and driving too fast. He quit in the middle of a year. You go in the locker room and sell winning and sell family … Guys got to trust you in the locker room. It has to be more than Kobe [Bryant]. It has to be.

“You don’t want your coach writing a book about you, you don’t want your coach talking about you and you don’t want your coach quitting on you and it being your fault. Ask the guys in New York, and they played better when he left. I don’t think this is about Phil Jackson, I think this is like, ‘How the heck did he [D'Antoni] get this job? You all want to be that different from Phil Jackson?’ That’s my honest opinion. How the heck did he get that job?

“Saying, as a fan, How did he get this job? Just as a fan. Seriously, just wanting to know. How did he get it?”

He’s not speaking as a fan, of course, but as a 15-year veteran and No. 1 overall pick who endured more than his fair share of criticism along the way. Webber caught heat for everything from receiving illegal benefits while at the University of Michigan, to underperforming after suffering a serious knee injury, to generally failing to live up to massive expectations, despite averaging 20.7 points and 9.8 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.4 blocks for his career.

Webber is correct in stating that players are generally held to a higher level of accountability than coaches and that they are subjected to harsher scrutiny when the relationship breaks down. That’s only natural. After a coach departs, he’s gone. Picture Jerry Sloan on his farm in the Midwest or Jackson in Montana. The players, for better or worse, remain on stages like Madison Square Garden, where they catch a vast majority of the blame if things go wrong.

This double-standard treatment isn’t Webber’s larger point. His larger point is that D’Antoni has a lot of work to do in earning trust, something that has been taken as a given because of his relationships with Bryant and Steve Nash. Webber went on to state that the Lakers should have considered Pacers assistant coach Brian Shaw, a former Lakers assistant and a finalist for the head-coaching job that went to Mike Brown in 2011, because there was no questioning his trustworthiness.

“Being a player who has been criticized, D’Antoni is just the coach or the pawn in this situation. It’s not about the man or how good of a person he is. I’m sure he’s a great man. Where do you go? I’m about to tell you. You take all your pride away. … You go get Brian Shaw. I’m not saying that because I know him or anything. He’s trusted by players, more than D’Antoni. Let me say that again: He’s trusted by players more than D’Antoni. He not only played … he was the rock who said, I don’t care how much I get paid and I don’t care about politics in the locker room; I’m going to make sure we win. I wish I played with guys like that.”

D’Antoni’s resignation from the Knicks came on March 15, shortly after a six-game losing streak. Anthony was back in the lineup, after missing time earlier in the year, and the chemistry between Anthony and Lin was lacking. While critics had been calling for his job for some time, D’Antoni had received some backing from the organization and, once he departed, he never offered much of an explanation for why he hung it up midseason instead of riding it out for another few months or letting ownership pull the plug.

His relative silence on his departure from the Knicks would seem to indicate a desire to keep internal conflicts away from the press. At the same time, his silence exposes him to criticism like Webber’s; he can’t easily respond without coming across like he’s airing dirty laundry, which, in the eyes of critics, would only further damage his standing among his new players. This is a no-win situation for D’Antoni and he needs to take these lumps and move on.

Via YouTube user 9kark2

20 comments
dawilcox44
dawilcox44

So Chris Webber breached the trust of his entire team and entire university by  taking money under the table.  Why would anyone pay attention to anything he says?

DBLETAP
DBLETAP

#footinmouthsyndrome

 

First off let me say, Chris, I was a big fan of yours during your time in Sactown w/Vlade Doddy, J-Will, Bibby, Bobby Jackson, et al.  That being said.....my man....you should have put together a coherent thought before you said what you said.

 

1) "We get on players for getting tickets and driving too fast. He quit in the middle of a year."  Dood, tha hell?  What does one have to do with the other?????

 

2)  "Guys got to trust you in the locker room. It has to be more than Kobe [Bryant]. It has to be."  Guys like, oh, I dunno, STEVE NASH, who just happens to be the POINT GUARD that played under Mike for I dunno, YEARS?  Who knows Mike's system like the back of his hand and will be acting as an extension of the coach (and the system) b/c he knows it so well?  So you have Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash, the 2 most influential people *on* the team by virtue of tenure, accomplishments and skill level, and you don't think the *rest* of the guys will buy in?  With a guy like Dwight that was *built* to run?  C'mon, man.....

 

3) “You don’t want your coach writing a book about you, you don’t want your coach talking about you and you don’t want your coach quitting on you and it being your fault. Ask the guys in New York, and they played better when he left."  Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm....why don't we ask Kobe instead, as Phil Jackson has been critical of Kobe in books that *he* wrote.  Or Metta World Peace, as Jackson has talked negatively about him and Kobe in the press on multiple occasions.

 

Bottom line, think before you speak, b/c all of your "points" are easily debatable, and seem to very ambiguous.

buckustoothnail
buckustoothnail

Chris Webber is still bitter against the Lakers for crushing his Sacramento Kings for all of those seasons. Notice he wasn't really standing up for Phil Jackson either. He just hates the Lakers organization and especially can't stand Kobe who had his girlfriend at the time, Tyra Banks, "guest" on his rap CD basically blowing up his jock on tape and god knows where else. But nevertheless he's absolutely right in his statement. Lakers led by Jim Buss are not only fools, but insecure immature morons that would sacrifice the good of the franchise so they can get a "one up" on an old man that has won them five championships, more than any other coach, and help drive the Lakers to what it is today and being able to command $3 billion cable TV deals. How quickly will the cable companies try to rip up the contract once the Lakers go 50+ losses, don't make the playoffs, and say bye bye to Howard.  Think Jim Buss will think his "revenge" against some imaginary slight from Phil will be worth it then?

MR. JUAN_YOUR WARLOCK1
MR. JUAN_YOUR WARLOCK1

This dude is still a little kid, who has never matured or gotten any wiser, since back in his days at Michigan.

RenoNoone
RenoNoone

Chris was secretly hoping that the Lakers will bring back Phil Jackson, run the triangle, and get left behind.  Again.  Now that the Lakers are gonna be an exciting team under DA, he's sulking.

cory.heal
cory.heal

Webber, you are so dumb! You compare leaving a team part way through the season to speeding and breaking the law? Hmmm... maybe thats why you took money and ruined the lives of all your teammates and coaches at Michigan. You suck.

plz909
plz909

Who is Chris Webber and why does he matter?

tablesetter05
tablesetter05

D'Antoni didn't quit on the Knicks. It was well documented that the situation in New York was unworkable once Carmelo Anthony stopped running his plays. Anthony wasn't willing to give D'Antoni's system a chance, which is why D'Antoni suggested the idea of a 'Melo for D. Williams trade. Once ownership made it clear Carmelo had their unconditional support, D'Antoni hardly had any choice but to leave.

rtdeco
rtdeco

so chris webber was upfront with michigan about the money from the donor?  i know how it worked out for webber, but michigan??? what a gas bag and a bigger tool. 

rsmpacis
rsmpacis

Brian Shaw? c'mon man....

 

DougHayen
DougHayen

Chris Webber up and comming???  This the best he has got.  D'Antoni gave the Knicks an easy out.  I think the Knicks quit on him.  I agree the job should have gone to Brian Shaw,but that should have happened last year.  Mike Brown should never been hired.  I am going to wait and see about D'Antoni.  Sports broadcasters can say anything and will say anything to draw attention to themselves even if they are clueless.

M20
M20

This is laughable. Carmelo Anthony quit on D'Antoni and made his position untenable. Anyone watching the team day to day could see it.

JohnTaylor
JohnTaylor

Chris Webber lied to the authorities about his time in Michigan. He let down and lied about his teammates (ask Jalen Rose) and he through Don Nelson under the bus in Golden State. This is a guy who cost Michigan the national championship wtih the "timeout" call and then pays them back by going pro the next year. He says he had to beacause he didn't have enough money to buy a hamburger and then we find out that he was being paid all along by alumni. Way to be a credible commentator. Hey maybe we can get Bill Clinton to go after the CIA chief for cheating on his wife also!

mgbodden
mgbodden

Chris Webber was arrested in 1998 and charged with assault, marijuana possession and numerous traffic violations, such as driving under the influence of drugs, speeding, and resisting arrest. The Wizards would soon trade him. I guess he's still bitter about this. But comparing risking lives by speeding and driving impaired and resigning from a position and forfeiting contracted wages is a stretch in my opinion. Everyone knows D'Antoni was a dead man walking in his final season in NY. He did the honorable thing and resigned so that the team would not have to fire him. I am a NY Knick fan for life. But I respect the job D'Antoni did. His first couple years were just salary purges to make room for LeBron. He doesn't deserve all the hatred thrown his way. He's always been a stand up guy. The same can not be said about Chris Webber.

Sulkaman
Sulkaman

C-Webb is dead on with his assessment.

DBLETAP
DBLETAP

...."seem to be very ambiguous."

routt661
routt661

 @JohnTaylor

 Get off Bill Clinton's ass you SOB Republican douchbag! Country needs to grow up and stop thinking cheating on your wife is grounds for impeachment or quiting your job .

bryandepalma10
bryandepalma10

 @JohnTaylor 

I'm a big fan of Chris Webber as a teenager but only in the last few years did i realize that i will never be able to respect him as a man. He never owned up to his mistakes. He will never ever blame himself for all the wrong things that happened in his life. It's always somebody else's fault.

 

Webber, Anthony? yeah right.

 

Mike D'Antoni have my respect.