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Mike D'Antoni regrets leaving Suns in 2008

Current Lakers head coach says he made a mistake by leaving Steve Nash and Phoenix to become the coach of the New York Knicks.

Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

Former Suns coach and current Los Angeles Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni regrets leaving Phoenix in 2008, largely due to his relationship with guard Steve Nash, according to a report on AZCentral.com:

"I shouldn't have gone to New York. I should have stuck in there and battled. You don't get to coach somebody like [Nash] too many times. It's pretty sacred and you need to take care of it. I didn't."

After leading the Suns to an unprecedented run of success from 2003-08 -- Phoenix went 253-136 and reached the Western Conference Finals twice with D'Antoni at the helm -- the 61-year-old coach bolted to the New York Knicks, accepting a four-year, $24 million offer:

"I probably irrationally made a decision right when the season was over. You should take a month to figure it out. I shouldn't have left. That was my fault."

Despite acquiring Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire and leading New York to the playoffs in 2011, D'Antoni resigned as coach of the Knicks on March 14, 2012.

After taking a few months off coaching, D'Antoni was hired by the Lakers on Nov. 12, 2012. Going to Los Angeles has reunited him with Nash, who was acquired by the Lakers during the offseason.