Since the firing of former Los Angeles Lakers head coach, Mike Brown, the name that has been rambled the most around the league was Phil Jackson.
It was toted it was “95% done” except it wasn’t really done. This isn’t about if Mike D’Antoni is the right fit — not yet, anyway — but it’s more about the Lakers firing Mike Brown — and in the process making a lateral move — while not insuring Phil Jackson was a “done deal” …..
Simply put, the Lakers made a mess out of something that should have been a slam dunk, Phil Jackson wanted — reportedly – a stake in the team and that’s when Buss walked away.
With that being said, is Mike D’Antoni world’s better than Mike Brown?
Mike Brown has a 314-167 winning record for his head coach career as opposed to D’Antoni’s 388-339 winning record.
Even if you believe that’s a regular season commodity, what about the fact both coaches are one-dimensional? Lakers are having issues with defense and the Lakers bring in head coach such as Mike D’Antoni?
If the reports flying around this morning are any indication, Jackson was close to being the head coach, but the Buss’ malfunction to not give him a stake in the team — along with special travel accommodations and increase of salary – was the last straw.
With that being said, is D’Antoni the right choice for the Los Angeles Lakers?
He could be.
He’s notable for an offense that thrives off of youth and quickness. Now, the Lakers aren’t the picture of youth at the moment nor are they quick, in fact, they’re pretty damn slow.
However, D’Antoni isn’t going to be all bad for Los Angeles; they’ll win plenty of regular season games, MDA has a well-established relationship with Steve Nash — and despite his age and lack of speed — will thrive in his system.
MDA has Dwight Howard to play pick-and-roll with Steve Nash, and speaking about P&R, D’Antoni is one of the best P&R coaches there are. In that aspect, they will do fine.
Kobe respects D’Antoni, something Brown couldn’t garner from the Black Mamba; in all fairness, this isn’t Melo or Amar’e either. This is freaking Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, and Steve Nash.
So, if I’m being completely objective and fair, we have to recognize Mike D’Antoni has a plethora of NBA talent right there. And, yes, that matters.
Lakers fans were hoping for Phil Jackson, but in the end Jackson just wanted too much and Buss wasn’t ready to “give in” to Jackson. Perhaps, D’Antoni was the best option for the team; once again, neither coach will make the team any younger, but D’Antoni’s system makes more sense when you have Steve Nash.
D’Antoni could hire a defensive assistant (A la New York’s Woodson, remember?) and things may cohere for the team, but that remains to be seen. I should also note that MDA’s Suns team was in the middle of the road defensively and that was with Amar’e. It’s fair to hypothesize that Dwight Howard will be huge–on both ends of the floor– of the Lakers and MDA’s system.
This isn’t a horrible hire for L.A., but the expectations were either Phil Jackson or bust. It’s not a surprise many are laughing at the Lakers this morning as it comes with the territory.
D’Antoni will do fine in Los Angeles; they will win regular season games, but when it comes down to the playoffs, it may just be another loss in the second round unless they –somehow– trade for youth and athleticism.