[Note by Phoenix Stan, 05/05/08 11:15 AM PDT ]
The Suns PR machine has responded to the latest news with this somewhat meaningless comment:
"As we have continued to convey, we value Mike D’Antoni as the head coach of the Phoenix Suns and would like him to continue leading this basketball team. Because he has requested to speak to other teams about their head coaching vacancies, we have granted him permission. We will have no further comment until this process further evolves." - Steve Kerr
How on earth this "process" doesn't end with D'Antoni coaching somewhere else is beyond me. Is there a possible scenario where he returns now after the team has granted him permission to speak to other teams? Talk about a train wreck.
No, this is now about the team spinning this as D'Antoni's decision which it may or may not actually be. Frankly, I don't know that I care.
The divorce papers have been filed and its all over but the splitting of the CD's.
[Note by ZonaFlash, 05/05/08 3:01 PM EDT ]
No kidding. This is how the new ownership does business. We saw the exact same machinations with Bryan Colangelo and Joe Johnson.
9:00pm PST, May 4th:
This in from Sports 620 KTAR
Suns coach Mike D'Antoni has been granted permission to speak with NBA teams, including the Chicago Bulls and New York Knicks, according to Sports 620 KTAR.
D'Antoni was previously denied permission to speak with any team, Suns GM Steve Kerr told KTAR last week.
Kerr and owner Robert Sarver met with D'Antoni for a lunch meeting on Friday to discuss his future with Phoenix, but it was reported a decision would not be made until later in the week.
It is likely D'Antoni has not been granted permission to interview with the Toronto Raptors, according to sources close to the subject.
ESPN.com reported Friday that Chicago has emerged as the most likely landing spot for D'Antoni if he leaves Phoenix.
If this report proves true then the end has come. If he's been granted permission to talk to other teams then clearly he's not coming back as the Suns head coach. With two years left on his contract, the Suns can agree to let D'Antoni out of his contract thereby avoiding paying him the $8.5m he's owed.