“I knew right then we were f—ed.”

A great anecdote from an otherwise mediocre article on Knicks Coach Mike D’Antoni, whose tenure in Phoenix is the modern sports equivalent of Greek Tragedy:

This is how Mike D’Antoni tells me the story the morning after Kobe Bryant came into the Garden and dropped a merciless 61 on his Knicks in early February, with a catalog of spin moves and fadeaways that had the sold-out crowd cheering the visiting Lakers:

D’Antoni passed Bryant near center court, walking onto the floor minutes before the house lights were dimmed for pregame introductions, and said, “Hey, Kobe, what’s going on?”

D’Antoni was one of Bryant’s idols when the kid was growing up in Italy and D’Antoni was starring in the Italian Professional League. Kobe wore D’Antoni’s No. 8 as a young Laker. The two became brothers in arms while spending three years as part of Team USA, too. They won gold together.

“And he won’t even look at me,” D’Antoni says, raising both eyebrows.

No “Whassup, Mike?” no quick head bob, no raise of the eyebrows, nothing. Pursed lips. Boxer’s shoulder wiggle. Steely, faraway stare . . .

“I knew right then we were f—ed.”

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