Mike D'Antoni walked into the Knicks training facility on Wednesday morning knowing he no longer wanted to coach the team.
Before shoot around on Wednesday, he talked to interim GM Glen Grunwald, informing him that he'd been thinking about stepping down.
Grunwald was caught off guard.
"I said, 'What do you really want to do, Mike?' And he clarified that he thought it was best for the team," Grunwald said.
Grunwald called MSG chairman James Dolan, who went to the Westchester training center for what he called a "very honest" conversation with D'Antoni. He later said the parting was mutual.
"He clearly felt it was best for the organization if he were not to continue as coach of the team. He did offer to stay," Dolan said during a news conference. "After a long discussion, we did agree it was best for the organization to have new voice moving forward."
Dolan and assistant general manager Allan Houston arrived at the team's training center after the shootaround to speak with Grunwald and D'Antoni.
Grunwald called D'Antoni's decision to step down "a selfless move."
"I think he felt that he had done all he could and he didn't really see another way for him to really positively affect the team," Grunwald said, adding, "He felt that maybe it was time for another voice, another approach."
Mike Woodson took over as the Knicks interim coach on Wednesday night. He led the Knicks to a 121-79 win over Portland.