D’Antoni Making Fast Friends With Starbury, Bulls

No sooner than the ink has dried on his freshly-signed multi-million dollar contract, new Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni is already putting his stamp on the franchise. First order of business - send Stephon Marbury packing.

Stephon Marbury Mike D'Antoni

Mitch Lawrence of the NEW YORK DAILY NEWS reports that D’Antoni wants to ship Starbury out to his old stomping grounds with the Suns, and try to get back two of his favorite Phoenix players in return - Boris Diaw & Leandro Barbosa.

Marbury might feel a little jilted about being banished from the Big Apple. (Plus, his last trip to Phoenix wasn’t so fun, either.) But if you think Stephon feels bad, imagine how the Chicago Bulls feel right now.

The SPORTING NEWS chatted with Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf about the talks to bring D’Antoni to the Windy City. And Jerry reveals that it seemed like Mike was a sure thing:

“(D’Antoni) said there was no time pressure [to make an offer]. He said he felt he didn’t have the defensive players in Phoenix to be a defensive team. He said he didn’t want to go to New York. He said he’d have a big man coach. We felt the Knicks were out of the picture.”

However, D’Antoni disputes his supposed displeasure with New York:

“I don’t remember saying that. Maybe. Who knows? We talked a long time. He told me this could take awhile. I said I was not in a hurry. But that night I decided, ‘This is where I want to go and I don’t want to use anybody.’ Jerry was feeling me out a little. He was trying to get convinced. We had a good talk.

But it wasn’t good enough to get Mike to come to Chicago.