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He seemed upbeat after the morning practice and gave no indication of his plans. Asked the last thing he said to players, rookie Iman Shumpert said: “Well, this morning it was, `See you tonight.’ So like I said, it’s a shock to us.”

Anthony said after the shootaround he supported the coach “100 percent,” denying a New York Post report that he would like a trade before Thursday’s deadline.

D'Antoni acknowledged the media frenzy around the sinking club but believed the Knicks would handle it.

“You battle against it. I think we’re cohesive enough to battle through this, and we expect to do that,” he said.

His departure comes less than a month after he seemed rejuvenated by the emergence of Lin, the undrafted point guard from Harvard who came off the end of the bench and proved to be the player who could properly run his offensive system.

But that was short-lived. Lin has still played well, but the defensive was struggling and D'Antoni said the team wasn’t giving a consistent effort after a home loss to Philadelphia on Sunday.

Woodson, the former Atlanta Hawks coach who was hired this summer, is a longtime friend of Grunwald and former Knicks coach Isiah Thomas. Dolan said Woodson understood he would be evaluated at the end of the season.

Perhaps a call will go out to Phil Jackson or John Calipari. The latter, preparing his top-seeded Wildcats for the NCAA tournament, wrote on Twitter that he was committed to Kentucky and reaffirmed that commitment at a press conference in Louisville.

“Every job that’s open, including high school jobs and AAU jobs, my name is mentioned,” he said. “But I just wanted to say I have a great job. The best in this profession.”

Never able to duplicate his success in Phoenix, D'Antoni was headed to his third losing season since signing a $24 million, four-year contract in 2008 that made him one of the NBA’s highest-paid coaches. He never won a playoff game in New York, where the Knicks were focused on the future during his first two years and made numerous changes that didn’t give him much of a chance to compete.

But they spent big this season, bringing in Tyson Chandler to play between Anthony and Amare Stoudemire, while adding players such as Baron Davis and JR Smith during the season.

New York returned to the playoffs last season for the first time since 2004 but lost to the Boston Celtics in the first round. In the offseason, the Knicks radically changed the team, waiving point guard Chauncey Billups through the amnesty clause to free up salary cap space to sign Chandler. They sputtered through January while trying three point guards to replace him.

D'Antoni finally turned to Lin on Feb. 4 and the Knicks took off, winning seven games in a row and looking like a threat to the top teams in the East. But it all came to a halt when Anthony returned, reinforcing the notion that his desire to get the ball in isolation didn’t fit in D'Antoni’s offense that focused on pick-and-rolls and quick ball movement.

D'Antoni averaged 58 wins in four full seasons in Phoenix before he was hired to replace Isiah Thomas on May 13, 2008, walking right into a two-year rebuilding plan with an eye toward clearing salary cap space for the summer of 2010.

D'Antoni always supported the plan, even though it came at the cost of his won-loss record. He was 267-172 when he arrived in New York but went 121-167 with the Knicks. Even Grunwald said he thought it had been a “rough go” of it for D'Antoni.

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