Later on the Western trip, Noah left the club in Denver after a feud with coach Jeff Hornacek, who yanked him during garbage time during a blowout in Golden State on Jan. 23. The next day at practice, according to eyewitnesses, they engaged in a verbal shouting match with Noah being restrained. Hornacek never pushed Noah, according to multiple sources. In fact, indications are the Knicks mulled issuing Noah a suspension for his actions but decided against it. The separation has been called “mutual” by Knicks officials.
Tom Orsborn: More from LA on Pop: “He is never happy. Pop is a great person, but he is the ultimate competitor and he wants us to try to be perfect every game. Even when you do things as good as you can, there is always room to get better and he is going to point that out to us.” #Spurs
Noah was banished from the Knicks after an altercation with coach Jeff Hornacek during a practice last month. The disagreement stemmed from Noah’s lack of playing time, and it turned physical the day after he logged only five minutes against the Warriors. While no punches were thrown, the Daily News learned that Hornacek was the first to shove Noah before they had to be separated.
“Some people accused me of being stubborn all those years I didn’t change. I didn’t think I was being stubborn. I thought that was the way to do it. Why should I change if I know it’s the right thing to do?” It was right for the Phoenix Suns because he was the right coach at the right time, with a point guard, Steve Nash, ideal to run his style, and frontcourt players, Amar’e Stoudemire and Shawn Marion, suited to his small lineups. That could not work in New York when four starters were traded for a post-up player, Carmelo Anthony, to fit into an offense without post-ups, or Los Angeles, where the Lakers were breaking down rapidly.
Destiny can be changed, but sometimes, it knows what it’s doing. For D’Antoni, it even held up a flight to a life and success he could not imagine. “I thought I wanted to do something else outside of basketball,” D’Antoni said. “I didn’t want to spend my whole life in basketball. I would do other things. I was a pretty good student. My mom wanted me to be a doctor so I went to pre-med. But what I do best is coaching. After a while, life just happens. “I just try to be who I am, try to do what I need to do. If I’m doing the best I can do, I can live with whatever happens.”