Knicks 'zzone

Newsday's Al Iannazzone takes you inside the Knicks.

Melo, Amar'e back D'Antoni

New York Knicks head coach Mike D'Antoni talking

New York Knicks head coach Mike D'Antoni talking to the media at the end of practice. (April 17, 2011) (Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire raised some eyebrows after Sunday's season-ending loss to the Celtics with seemingly lukewarm support for Mike D'Antoni.

Monday, each spoke to reporters and expressed strong backing for the coach.

"Mike is a phenomenal coach," Stoudemire said. "He’s been great my whole career. He’s been great in New York so far this year. I have high confidence in his coaching style and what he can bring to the team.

"Coach Mike is phenomenal. He’s been doing great all year with the different changes we’ve made throughout the season. We’ve been able to maintain and still have a winning record and also have a chance to do something special in the postseason if it weren’t for injuries, so I have high confidence in Coach D’Antoni."

Said Anthony: "I think D'Antoni was very patient. I only can speak on when I got here. I think he's been very patient due to the circumstances. We came a long way, especially when I first got here, with the expectations being so high so quickly.

"For us to lose some games and take a step backward, and then to go out the regular season winning the way we did, you've got to take your hat off to Mike for being able to handle a situation like that, after almost losing damn near the whole team and start off fresh with something new. He lost four key components to his team. They had something rolling here.

"For him to take on another challenge and getting everybody on the same page when we got here, I think it took a lot and I respect that from him."

Tags: Knicks , carmelo anthony , amar'e stoudemire , mike d'antoni

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