Suns’ Kerr: D’Antoni Not Fleeing Phoenix Just Yet

Phoenix GM Steve Kerr is trying to squash rumors that Mike D’Antoni is already on his way out as Suns head coach.

Mike D'Antoni

Paul Coro of the ARIZONA REPUBLIC reports that Mike & the management plan to meet before the weekend to discuss the Suns’ situation. Steve spoke out about the D’Antoni dilemma after hearing the coach was reportedly already removed:

Before leaving San Antonio late Tuesday, Suns Managing Partner Robert Sarver was on the plane when he noticed a report on his phone that stated D’Antoni would not be back as Suns coach next season. Sarver showed it to Kerr. Both were surprised and went to D’Antoni, who also was surprised.

“There’s no truth to that,” Kerr said. “I asked Mike when the story came out, and he denied it. Mike’s our coach and has done a great job for four years.”

So, everything’s hunky-dory then? Well, even though Kerr says he wants D’Antoni back, Mike could be casting his eye at other job openings, specifically in Chicago and New York.

And it’s not like things have always been so harmonious between coach & GM:

In a November conversation, Kerr reportedly suggested that the Suns run more post-up plays for forward Amare Stoudemire. D’Antoni objected, and a shouting match ended with the coach telling the GM not to advise him “how to coach offense.”

Such lack of plays may explain why Stoudemire wasn’t so steadfast with showing support for D’Antoni. From the Republic:

Every rotation regular but forward Amaré Stoudemire has spoken in support of D’Antoni’s return. Stoudemire offered a lukewarm response Tuesday and Wednesday. He even spoke of his coach in the past tense.

“Coach Mike was a pretty good coach, I would say,” he said.

Asked if the Suns could win a title under D’Antoni, he said, “Well, uh, I think it’s about players. It’s about us improving as a unit to try and win a championship.”

Nice to see such unity. But if D’Antoni is looking for greener pastures, he better hurry - Avery Johnson might beat him to the prime spots.