No hard feelings between Carmelo Anthony, Mike D'Antoni

New York Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni, left, watches

New York Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni, left, watches as forward Carmelo Anthony (7) drives toward the basket in the first half of their NBA basketball game at Madison Square Garden. (Dec. 25, 2011) (Credit: AP)

LAS VEGAS -- Carmelo Anthony and Mike D'Antoni have been reunited, and soon the two will be touring Europe together.

"It will be a little like Chevy Chase and the Grand Canyon," D'Antoni joked.

The former Knicks coach must have forgotten that Chase did a "European Vacation" that included some memorable scenes in London, the last stop Anthony and D'Antoni will make in their quest for a gold medal.

But there is some irony in that after everything that happened with the Knicks, with Anthony receiving most of the blame for D'Antoni's departure in March, that the two will be together every day here, in Washington, in Manchester, England, in Barcelona, and finally in London with the Olympic team.

Both sides can laugh now, and apparently they did when they met at the team dinner Thursday night. It was the first time Anthony and D'Antoni, an Olympic team assistant coach, spoke since the two parted ways after the morning shootaround March 14.

"We talked, we laughed and joked," Anthony said. "I told you all back then I never had any bad blood with coach Mike. We've always been on the same page. It's good to see him."

Anthony can shed defenders much easier than the perception that he was responsible for D'Antoni's decision to step down.

The two had philosophical differences. D'Antoni runs an offense predicated on pick-and-rolls and ball and player movement. Anthony is more of a post-up, isolation player.

The Knicks succeeded while playing D'Antoni's way with Jeremy Lin at point guard and Anthony out with a groin injury. When he returned, the team struggled, the tension grew and D'Antoni ultimately walked away.

D'Antoni said it was time to move on then, and he's moved on now. "For me, what I did, I thought in my mind it was the right thing," he said. "It was the right thing for the team. That's it. It's not ever one reason. It's not just that. A lot of things were going on. I felt like it's better for everybody and it did work out that way. Today I got to go forward. Now I'm just a fan in Westchester."

Anthony continues to say his hands are clean and his conscience is clear. "As long as I know and as long as he knows what happened, everything else is irrelevant to us," Anthony said. "He knows I had nothing to do with that, I know I had nothing to do with that. It's a decision he and Mr. Dolan came to."

After D'Antoni left, the Knicks went 18-6 under Mike Woodson and reached the playoffs for the second straight season. Anthony carried the Knicks the last month of the season.

"They were good," D'Antoni said. "That's what he does. The guy has been phenomenal for a lot of years. It didn't surprise me. He had an unbelievable month, that's for sure."

Anthony said D'Antoni congratulated him for his strong finish. "Absolutely," Anthony said. "He said he was watching from afar. I'm pretty sure he was still coaching as he was watching. Me and him are good. We talked, we laughed and that situation is over with."

D'Antoni said he won't coach next season. He's having knee surgery after the Olympics and wants to stay home to see his son graduate high school.

It's been a Knicks reunion of sorts in Vegas. Anthony and Tyson Chandler are on the Olympic team. Woodson has been watching. He and D'Antoni hugged and talked privately when they saw each other Friday.

"He deserved to come back and he did and it's the best thing for the continuity of the team," D'Antoni said. "With Jason Kidd coming in and you get [Iman] Shumpert back, the team's looking good."

The Dolan family owns controlling interests in the Knicks, Madison Square

Garden and Cablevision. Cablevision owns Newsday.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

NBA video

@Al_Iannazzone

advertisement | advertise on newsday