The Knicks missed out on the big prize again, but head coach Mike D'Antoni is happy with the team’s effort.
According to the New York Daily News, D'Antoni mused that the Knicks "had a shot" at signing former super free agent LeBron James, despite his apparent desire to play with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami.
"I don't think they knew for sure because you never know if the cap room is going to be created," D'Antoni told the Daily News. "You don't know a lot of stuff, and they were covering their bases. I can't get in their minds because I have no idea."
The Knicks were one of the first teams to court James once NBA free agency opened on July 1. They had been working diligently over the past few seasons to cut salaries in order to have the cap space to sign James and other big free agents.
In the end, their huge marketing campaign and celebrity committee weren’t enough to woo James to New York, and he eventually signed with the Heat, adding fuel to the idea that the three free agents already had decided to find a way to play together while they were all members of Team USA at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
D'Antoni chalked everything up to the Knicks being unlucky.
"I respect what they did," D'Antoni told the Daily News. "They never led me on. They never did anything against me. We did our business, and they did their business. Like anything else, you come in second, you get crusty. I respect them. They're great players, and if you're Miami, it should be fun, and the rest of the league has to take notice."
Now the Knicks will build around former Phoenix Sun Amare Stoudemire instead of James.