Breaking News: Lakers Hire Mike D’Antoni As New Head Coach

Darius Soriano —  November 12, 2012

In what can only be considered a shocking turn of events, the Lakers have hired Mike D’Antoni to replace Mike Brown as their new head coach. Mike Bresnahan broke the news on twitter just a little while ago:

https://twitter.com/Mike_Bresnahan/status/267894975583375361

https://twitter.com/Mike_Bresnahan/status/267895361044090880

Obviously, this means that Phil Jackson will not step in to coach the team for the third time in the last 13 years.

My initial take is twofold: first, I’m a bit disappointed that Phil isn’t the guy. I’ve long respected him and thought he’d have been a great fit with this roster, even though there would have been some things to work out in maximizing all the players — especially Steve Nash. But if there were holdups in terms of his desires outside of simply coaching the team, I can see how those might have interfered with him getting this job.

Second, I like Mike D’Antoni for this job. I think he’ll be great for the Lakers guards and can get a lot out of their big men in a variety of ways. There are questions about his defensive chops but he had the Knicks in the top 10 of defensive efficiency when he was let go from that job last year.

We’ll have more in the coming days.

Darius Soriano

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121 responses to Breaking News: Lakers Hire Mike D’Antoni As New Head Coach

  1. The Lakers. They know drama

  2. The Lakers. They know drama. What a crazy season so far

  3. I’m glad this whole thing is over. Contract length is immaterial. The good thing about going with D’Antoni is that we know Nash will be properly utilized. I’m wondering about who he will bring in as assistant coaches.

  4. PJ wanted what 20 mil a year?

  5. At least they didn’t hire the dunce. This fan approves of the choice.

  6. I just hope they can get enough D out of the Lakers. Offense should be pretty.

  7. Initially disappointed – I was really looking forward to Phil’s return – as the rest of the fanbase was. D’Antoni was my second choice (albeit a distant second). It’ll be fun to see him reunited with Nash, and Darius’ tweet about Pau being a much better version of Diaw got me a little more excited. Obviously, Dwight is a way better roll man than Stoudemire as well. It’ll be interesting – I just wonder what will happen when teams like the Spurs or the Heat take away the pick and roll in the playoffs.

  8. As Darius said, d w Knicks was pretty decent and Pho wasn’t as bad D wise as everyone thinks. Don’t think of SSOL offense – think something more like the Dream Team which D”Antoni was the offensive coordinator of for Coach K – so he knows how to make something that works for all the guys. Wow. After following Nash in Phoenix and cheering for him there lol this is going to make for a fun season watching all the Laker games!

  9. the guy on the pringles can? yes!

  10. @Young Neil – (Scot pilgrim reference?) – thats the thing – Phoenix never had a iso guy like Kobe or a truly dominating post like Howard (Amare had to face up and drive past or jumpshoot, he wasn’t a true post). Spurs/Heat can gameplan for pnr and take it away – but now you have 2 guarranteed guys that demand double teams and you can clear out a wing or post. Really curious to

  11. @chibi hahahaha – 2nd best quote of the night behind Darius’s “Joe Clark” tweet! lol

  12. D’Antoni usually has a very tight rotation. That worries me.

  13. He didn’t have much to work with in Phoenix and injuries wrecked what decent roster he had during his NY days. He’s not MB – he knows more thna anyone how to keep Nashes and Kobes mins down, which gives him extra incentive to develop an effective bench/starter combination/rotation

  14. good tweet by Marc Stein – “RT @HPbasketball: Why would you want to give up personnel control to someone else when you’re guy just landed Nash AND Dwight?”. That says a lot

  15. Wow. Only in Hollywood

  16. Sorry for spam posting this board – just giddy over this news (and it is 230 am here) – this is a great hire for the Lakers for sure!!!

  17. The thing I always tell people about Mike D and the 7 seconds or less suns is that playing uptempo and running has absolutely NOTHING to do with having players that are fast or athletic. It is all about having a team mindset that you are going to get up the court after a rebound or opponent miss. Don’t get me wrong, a Leandro or Marion type (players from the 7SOL era) would be a nice fit instead of someone like MWP, but it is all about the coaching and practice time outside of the games that engrains the uptempo nature of the offense in the players

  18. Jordan Hill and dwight and jamison are going to love D”anotnis offense – plus Pau is going to touch the ball soooo much ala Boris Diaw ‘cept better – at everything …. and not fat.

  19. Um, didn’t D”antoni overplay Staudamire a season and a half ago? since then his PER has been below 20 (first time since 05′)…

    If I was Kobe’s knees or Dwight’s back, I’d be very scared :nervous laugh:

  20. It’s kind of like the election, regardless on which side of the fence you stand on, Phil or the Pringles Guy, the decision has been made, time to move forward, salvage the season and bring home # 17!

  21. Mike D. will be OK as long as he keeps on winning. That’s the standard of taking the job, Phil wants a graceful exit because he knew Lakers would not give all to his demands. The sticking points there would be the road games, perhaps he can’t really handle the rigors of traveling at this time. He’s more interested of GM job in the future or basketball personnel VP after two years.

    Mike is known for his offense when he was with the Suns. However, like Mike Brown, he is also another Mike without any Championship ring and recently fired by Knicks. Before that team, he came from Suns, they also got tired of his offense and could not improve Suns standing despite the presence of Nash and Shaq. Well, that is his history. Laker fans always want a winning hand in everything that’s why they prefer a lame PJ who gave them 5 rings. If Mike without a D could give the Lakers one ring out of four years, that’s a good barometer. Let’s see what he can do. Go Lakers

  22. A) People need to quit talking about Amare. He is one of the most overrated players of the last decade. And don’t get me started on Carmelo.

    B) If Phil was asking for team ownership and veto power on trades, etc. AND he really wanted the job than either he and/or his agent screwed him here. Both those things are likely a bridge too far.

    C) D’Antoni is SOOOOO much better than any other option aside from Phil (and probably will be a more fun team to watch) and maybe Adelman (speaking generally and hypothetically before the Brown hire). I have to say this is a huge win.

    I mean, come on Phil… the Lakers need a coach, but they aren’t DESPERATE. I really hope he’s happy in retirement because he missed a golden opportunity here.

  23. By the way, the Suns screwed D’Antoni with the disastrous and panicky Shaq trade.

    This is a good move for fans of basketball and Lakers fans. Though, anything short of a Lakers championship and Phil will win big without having to do a damn thing. That would be truly zen.

  24. False – Suns still run SSOL offense under Gentry – and the aquisition of Shaq and the hire of Terry porter was was screwed up the suns. D”Antoni was fired there because him and Steve Kerr didn’t agree on philosophies and then Kerr botched things up hiring Porter who Nash went to management and quietly said this isn’t going to work.

  25. Five thoughts on this.

    1. It’s the Mike Brown do over.

    2. It’s moving forward as an organization. Phil felt like a two year warrior and not always on the road with the team. I think the Lakers are trying to win now AND build for the post Kobe future. That stated, watching Kobe play this season is there any doubt that he totally buys into the system approach to making his teammates better. It’s about rings at this point, not vanity. He’s been very efficient.

    3. Regarding D’Antoni style as Championship worthy, it’s shades of ’07 Suns.That was a tough team. I can see Nash, Blake or Morris running well in that type of offense.

    4. With DH protecting the paint, they could disrupt a lot of teams with that uptempo style.

    5. I can get behind this. Pick-and-roll basketball is a highly entertaining brand of basketball. It has a Return to Showtime feel about it.

    Cheers,

    Mark

  26. I’m good with the hire. I remember Phil wanting reduced travel from his last stint – that would never have worked, imagine Phil lounging at home while the Lakers lost a few during an east coast road trip. And if Phil wanted more personnel say, well it’s usually not a good idea for coaches to be general managers and I think Kupchak has done just fine lately.

    Also, D’Antoni sounds like he still has a lot of fire in his belly, I can’t say the same about Phil. Nash and Kobe are good with him. I have to believe Dwight wil love the up-tempo pace.

    Maybe Bill Simmons’ nightmare of Pau for Josh Smith and Korver (works in the trade machine!) will come true after all.

  27. D’Antoni should incorporate defense in his game. Basketball is not just running around to and fro with aging veterans. There has to be a mixture of a good defense that produce an easy offense.

  28. Love Jerkes comments here. Actually I’m so loving most of the comments here compared to a lot of places. Sheesh. We basically combined the core of a recent two time champion with the core of the most entertaining team SINCE THE 80′s Lakers AND, oh, yeah, combined those two elements with the best defensive player in the game.

    Are you not about to be entertained?

    Only in Lakerland could a fan base not be doing f**cking backflips right now.

  29. @Edwin – D’Antonis NY team was top ten when he was there and the Suns teams were usually average to pretty reasonable and lead the league in point differential which is a way better indicator of defensive strenght than points allowed etc… – and that was on Suns teams with no post defensive presence whatso ever and only Raja bell and shawn marion as the only two capable defenders. Saying Dantoni is a bad defensive coach is just as false as saying Macmillan was a good defensive coach – Mac just slowed the pace down so other teams couldn’t score as much because people hardly shot. Now the Lakers starting lineup has 3 decent defenders + the #1 in the league post defender – and a point guard who plays good team/positional d and takes lots of charges ( Nash led the league for a couple years) but who doesn’t have the lateral quickness to always stay in front of an individual assignment. i think they’ll be just fine. Especillay since they;ll realize that in D”Anotnis system,- if they force turnovers or get the the rebound they have free rein to do whatever they want on offence which is bad news for every other team when its Nash, Kobe, Pau plus Howard filling the lanes coming down the court.

    Oh – and the dunk by Kobe over Nash in the playoffs in 06 – that was clearly a charge – the refs were afraid to make the right call;)

  30. @ChrisBroussard – Lakers insist they chose D”antoni over Phil – say triangle too similar to Princeton and not a good fit for roster (which means management wanted Nash to have a real role all along – not be a bystander on the off wing) – felt only kobe, Pau and mwp fit Triangle. also reporting that PJ’s demands weren’t an issue – the Lakers just decided that they would pick the guy that they felt best suited the team and didn’t wait for PJ’s answer on Monday. And that lakers know that they will take a pr hit for not getting Phil but are sure they made the proper choice and probably wanted mike D from beginning but went thru Phil to do proper diligence

  31. The hiring of coach Mike D;Antoni represents so many questions in the mind of real Laker fans,,,will he lead Kobe to his 6th ring…will SSOL offense be enough to win a championship…this is the most intriguing mindset..we laker fans need result, the Laker organization give the fans what they want, hopefully this current lineup will be enough to make the finish line,,we knew Mike and Kobe and Nash has a good basketball relationship..gud luck coach mike d

  32. At the Valley of the Suns Truehoop forum they’re already feeling sick over Nash reuniting w Mike D lol.

  33. I am extremely crushed. This is not good.

    People are mocking this. In any case, this was not handled well, and this puts huge pressure on D’Antoni, and will be second guessed all year. We should not have started down the Phil road if we were not going to finish. This is bad. To say “he is better for the team” is laughable. If you could not meet the demands then say he cost too much. To say D’Antoni is better is ridiculous. Obviously – I will root for D’Antoni and the Lakers and this is a huge upgrade over MB. There will be no ring kissing. In fact – I want an explanation from – Jimbo.

  34. This decision was not made for “Basketball Reasons”

  35. I’m trying to remember when Mike D has ever out-coached any of his better peers, such as Phil Jackson or Popovich, and I’m coming up empty. All I remember are stupid and humiliating losses, including the near playoff loss to LA in 2006 when Smush Parker and Kwame Brown were in the starting lineup.
    Oh well, at least Showtime is back….

  36. Lol – compared to New York media, LA will seem a cakewalk for D’antoni. He’s not worried about the pressure at all -in fact is excited for the challenge And ready to have fun with it.

  37. Who is running PR for the Lakers? Our official explanation is that D’Antoni is the better man for the job? A guy who has missed the playoffs 5 times out of 10 years, vs. a guy who has won 11 titles in 20 years. We can’t learn the Triangle when we have key guys who already know it? And who cares what offense we run? This is about leadership and experience – not x’s and o’s. The reports are now coming out that money was never discussed so this was a Jimbo decision for Jimbo reasons. Oh yea – it was unanimous. What else are they going to say? Please come up with a more beleivable story.

  38. Ha. Surprised, but not entirely. Had a feeling this was going to happen with Phil just asking for too much. Not sure I buy the line about the triangle not fitting the personnel (Nash) when the same case can be made about no shooters for D’Antoni – although you certainly can make the argument that D’Antoni will be running a different type of offense.

    Well, in terms of big names, we probably got the 2nd best. I’m fine with the move, because my ideal candidate (SVG) was never happening. So let’s see what happens now.

  39. What’s up, just came by to collect on the D’Antoni bet!!

    Honestly, it was kind of obvious. Phil is tired and he should be demanding top dollar/stock/whatever to come back. D’Antoni is the next best thing.

    People say he didn’t care about defense. Well, he shouldn’t have in Phoenix. Only Marion was a defender, who the hell would even think about defense with Stoudemire in the paint? He had decent D in NY however. So I’m not worried. With 2 defensive-minded monsters in MWP and Howard, with 2 outstanding stoppers when they feel like it in Kobe and Pau and capable backups like Ebanks, Hill and Sacre, I’m not worried at all.

  40. Watching ESPN is making me sick. Nobody can explain this. Hiring Phil was so obvious. We can talk as positively as we want, and spin this anyway we want. Saying you would pick D’Antoni over Phil is just not believable.

  41. Snoop – If you believe Ramona – money was never discussed – they never got to that point. This was a Jimbo/Phil/Jeanie thing

  42. Seems to me that Phil overplayed his hand. The travel restrictions he reportedly wanted, if we can believe those reports, would be hard for any organization to accept. While we have no conclusive proof as to what Phil actually wanted, it’s apparent that the two parties could not reach common ground in an expedient timeframe. So the Lakers went to plan B. I’m no fan of D’Antoni’s previous work as a head coach, but I’m hoping, as a Laker fan, that he will do the best job of his life as coach of The Show.

  43. Robert – I wasn’t referring to the money necessarily (although reports did say he wanted at least the $10 million he left with) but to the requests to skip road trips, more power in the organization, having to send Indiana compensation (likely) to get Shaw.

    But I agree with you. I was just about to point out that – although none of us were in the room when the decision was made and we have no true idea what the thought process was – it should be noted that recent history (the Ariza/Artest switch) shows that the Lakers are very adept at negotiating as a PR move.

    I’m not saying they didn’t negotiate in earnest, but there were very clear leaks along the lines of “This is Phil’s job to lose,” likely from an organization that doesn’t leak much. I’m sure Jim Buss remembers well the PR nightmare when he tried to purge Phil Jackson from the organization, as well as the “We Want Phil” chants. This at least creates the appearance that they really did try.

    In addition – unless Phil voluntarily took his name off the table, which I haven’t seen anywhere – this pretty much seals that Phil will never coach for the Lakers again, regardless of his health and regardless of how D’Antoni turns out. The playa got played in this case, and they gave the job to one of the coaches he hates most in D’Antoni. Phil forgot that this isn’t Reinsdorf/Krause; Buss is a master poker player. Phil might have misread his hand’s strength, or he might not have ever truly been in the hand to begin with. Who knows? But if there wasn’t bad blood before, there will be now.

    As far as D’Antoni – I’m repeating “endless pick and rolls” and “offensive genius” to myself and trying to forget the image of a grown man throwing multiple fits on the sidelines like a little child during those Phoenix playoff runs, and how legitimately embarrassed I was for Nash and those Suns teams.

    [Edit: Broussard is reporting that Phil's demands were overblown in media reports. Which would lend more credence to the fact that they wanted D'Antoni all along.]

  44. I agree that this is a mike brown do over – Dwight wanted phil and if we lose Dwight because of this it’s all on Jim – we have essentially been playing the triangle these past 2 games with all the Isos we have been doing and Dwight looked happy – once again we did not listen to our player or the roaring fans who chanted for phil

    From what i have read phil essentially wanted to place a team of coaches in place for when he does retire so that the triangle can live on and deservedly so – it won us 5 titles and i am surprised that other teams have not tried to copy its success outside of Kurts failed attempt in minnesota

    As for his other demands it looks like those were not a problem at least by the spin being put out there so this was more of an ownership ego thing

    I really really hope mike does well nut if he doesn’t we could easily see our 3rd straight coaching hire blunder cost this team another 20+ million dollars – in total it would be like what 40-50 million in coaches down the drain if this doesn’t work out – look if we end up losing with phil the word would be that it was
    Disappointed – mike d will need to win us over where as phil always had our respect – in zero ways does this roster lend itself to dantonis phoenix offense

  45. Will be interesting to learn the backstory here.

    Also, D’Antoni just went through knee surgery so this team won’t have him until Christmas.

  46. Dantoni is all nice and all but What happens if Nash gets seriously injured, you know at 39 years old?

    If they even try blake as the focal point PG in D’Antoni’s offense ill lose my mind – hopefully we fully go ahead with Morris as the backup PG because he actually has a handle and can break his man off the dribble where Blake cant stop his his man from just taking the ball away from him.

    Money had to be a big thing in this Dantoni will only cost 4 Mil per year compared to Jacksons maybe 8+ but according to reports out there suggestions of Phils requests were way overblown and he understood that he was going to to need to take less money than in the past.

  47. How do you jilt Phil Jackson? How do you do that? How do you handle this any worse? Could we have planned this out before we fired MB (the back up plan I called for)? No, we fire MB, and then start a panic process, with a cloak and dagger – middle of the night decision. The public reaction alone was reason not to do this. How does this make sense to win this year? How does this make sense to keep Dwight? Even KB and Nash had supported Phil yesterday. Incredible.

  48. I think it can work. And here is the thing:

    Bill Plaschke thinks hiring D’Antoni is a bad idea. Can you think of a stronger argument in *favor* of the hire than that?

  49. PJ is great, of course. But I join the skeptics.the “fire in the belly” (including given his last seemingly lethargic run). The short term nature (what about dwight?) Of his Return. The insistence on triangle (in this short season). And then all the emperor and soap opera stuff. Maybe Lakers messed up … We’ll see.

    Dantoni is fresh, ready to go, to prove something new and Big Screen about himself. Has potential with the D and with top shelf players and expectations, and isn’t running the clock out on an already storied career.

    A calculated risk that I look forward to.
    My only big concern is how it will play with a certain free agent Center of the Future…

  50. What a tragedy………I doubted Phil because of his mindset, but Mike D to me is not the guy for this job. His system relies heavily on speed and outside shooters and the Lakers are weak in both departments. Nash is good and even better when he can get a lot of assists due to guys who can knock down shots. And now say goodbye to any defense. Yea, the Knicks weren’t so bad last year. What I do remember is that Suns team he coached awhile back at times almost gave teams freebies just so they could get the ball and rush it up court again. You need to play championship defense to win it all in this league. There are no exceptions, I am very worried.

  51. And he is out until Christmas? What were these guys thinking?

  52. Howard , Kobe are better than Stoudamire, and Joe Jonson of Phoenix Sun, if Lakers can play better defense, we have the chance, with D’antoni Lakers can expect P&R more with Howard or Gasol attacking the basket, any way this is crazy season, and the good thing it’s better without MB.

  53. I think overall this is a better choice than PJ.

  54. I think this is a mistake. D’antoni system is fatally flawed, it has too many holes, too many weaknesses. And I really think this roster isnt even appropiate for this sytem; the Lakers just dont have the shooters to create the space required, when only Nash and Kobe can hit the 3 ball this becomes an issue. On top of this I feel Gasol plays his best game in the half court so right now you are severely decreasing the effectiveness of one of your best players. On top of that D’antoni has never been known as a great in-game coach and was thoroughly dismantled and out-coached by popovich in 07.

    It is going to be a very entertaining season, and the Lakers will have some espectacular games but I think this hire is a real hit to the teams championship aspirations.

    Mike couldnt do it with the suns – a team that was perfect for his system so I find it extremely dificult to believe he can do it with the Lakers

  55. Glad we didnt go for nostalgia.What did Phil do his last season and series? My questions have to with asst. coaches and defensive detail and intensity. Plaschke`s opinion a real plus.

  56. just wow! when i read the espn article..im totally shock,,they hire Mike D’Antoni against Phil Jackson. I admire coach Mike for what he does in Phoenix, being plus 50 wins in 4 or more season, for being the greatest offense in that time,,but to totally ignore the greatest coach in professional sports is mind boggling..We, the true blooded laker fans want to see coach Phil to be back at the sideline, to implement the most famous offensive set in the NBA has ever known (Triangle)…at the end of the day we will support coch Mike D’Antoni as the new Laker head coach….SSOL is like the incarnation of the Showtime Era of coach Pat Riley..we hope that coach Mike deliver what all the fans of the Lakers around the world wanted..the Larry OBrien trophy

  57. This move has Jim Buss written all over it. Mike Brown was the guy that he wanted. Rumor has it that he and PJ have never gotten along and this seems like a way to stick it to Phil. Hire D’Antoni who also doesn’t get along with PJ.

    Not a fan of this hire. It just seems wrong. Jerry Sloan seems to be a better fit on its face. With that being said… I’m cheering just like the rest of you.

  58. kehntangibles: Well that is a good point. S Smith is also coming out hard against this so perhaps that is a good sign as well. However what do either of those say? Nobody on the air or in print has had anything positive to say about this !!!

  59. Watching these ESPN videos is pretty depressing added with the overall expressions of people on this board, facebook, espn – I mean it is pretty clear that this was the wrong decision.

  60. rr: Are watching ESPN? Smith, Bayless, et al are lampooning Jimbo. “He called Daddy” “This is about Jim Buss’ pride” This is rediculous

  61. I see Jerry Buss’ fingers all over the coaching change.
    It’s no secret that Jerry has always wanted to bring Showtime back. Phil was a nod to the winning tradition. D’antoni, of them all, offered the best chance of bringing Showtime back – With Nash & Howard (after recovery) (+ Kobe), this is the closest that this team could make it to Showtime.
    It’s still a strange fit (D’antoni unable to travel for a month due to knee surgery., no great shooters, Pau, Metta and other team members without great speed, d’antoni clearly having historical questions about capability to win it all and instilling a defensive identity), but then any fit would have been strange. (example1 Phil with health issues, having lost and lost the team in his last outing, with a large roster makeover, no preseason practices to instil the triangle and Nash as a typical non-triangle guard). (example 2 : Mike Brown – also a strange fit.)
    Jim Buss pushed for Mike Brown’s hiring. There were clearly other factors and persons involved [mike kupchak, TimeWarner with the new megacontract being in a poor position to armtwist others, fear of team implosion (Howard being able to walk away from an unsuccessful run, if it brought bad memories, Nash having option to retire ..)]. Nevertheless to get the organization to do such a rapid U turn speaks of a lack of emotional investment and implies orders from on high

  62. S Smith says it like it is on first take, I agree with pretty much everything he said, which is scary….

  63. http://espn.go.com/blog/los-angeles/lakers/post/_/id/34280/why-mike-dantoni-was-the-right-choice

    AK sure hit the nail on the head. And I agree. And Darius can attest that I was on this bandwagon way before Phil took the headlines.

  64. The triangle doesn’t suit this roster? I vaguely remember a dominant 7 footer with passing skills who did pretty well here under Phil, but maybe that was a fluke…

    Steve Nash’s game doesn’t fit the triangle? Oh, well it’s settled, we better not hire Phil!!

    Hey remember all those years we couldn’t beat the Suns in the playoffs? We have Nash at the twilight of his career, we should pick up his old coach. Oh the Suns could never beat teams with solid half-court games and defensive principles? Good thing the Spurs aren’t around anymore…right?

    Basically, we’re putting our eggs in the Steve Nash basket… Better hope D Morris turns out to be a Goran Dragic 2.0.

  65. Shaun, after Jim made the right moves by doing all these you still question his ability to run this franchise? Thats such a shame.

  66. For what it may be worth, like it or not, we have to look at this from the POV of MDA. Which means… a trade possibly? @Wondahbap has been surmising this and I agree.

  67. I don’t know if it’s damage control, but the news coming out of Phil’s camp isn’t so good. Apparently, his travel limitations weren’t going to be more prominent than earlier, and according to both camps this wasn’t about money.
    Connecting the breadcrumbs, it means it had to do with control on management decisions.

    I think what happened was this – Phil may have let it know (through Jeanie) that he could have done a much better job with this roster than coach Brown. Lakers thought/decided Phil was ready and fired Brown in anticipation – didn’t want to till Phil committed, out of fear that either the news leaked out, or that Brown would start winning with the 6 game homestand. Once they did, Phil played the situation to his advantage, which pissed off Buss.
    End result – everyone ends up looking bad.
    Pure guesswork – I have no sources whatsoever.

  68. Travis, if you are not going to do the things that would make Steve Nash Steve Nash, why trade for him in the 1st place?

  69. any_one_mouse:

    Or it could be that the Lakers did this for Steve Nash, and the future of the team post-Kobe. Meaning a team that would focus in on Dwight Howard. Sometimes the simple is made complicated. A case of overthinking. And who wouldn’t want Phil Jackson?

  70. @Robert – Your comments nailed it.

    This wasn’t about money or travel; it was about Jim Buss and his refusal to relinquish any additional control over basketball decision-making to Phil Jackson.

    I’m disappointed because I’ve never seen enough defense out of D’Antoni to win when it matters. Two wrongs (Mikes) don’t make a right.

  71. Jane, I beg to differ. A good offense can always translate to good defense, much as the reverse is true.

    Mike D’Antoni represented someone who has Kobe’s respect, and Nash’s heart.

    Only concern here will be for Pau, wouldn’t be surprised to hear him traded.

  72. Warren Wee Lim:

    If this was about Nash and the future of the team, why even reach out to Phil first. Did Buss want to hear how Phil would handle Nash? No, sir – this, most definitely was plan B for Lakers management.
    For the record I had reservations about the triangle (and to a lesser extent how Nash would fit into it), but my issue was about how this all went down.
    Do you think Howard is thinking ours is a dysfunctional family (too!)?

  73. Barath: Agree with your post. Yahoo said Jerry Buss fired Mike Brown and it’s been known for a while he wanted the Showtime Lakers back. He has the formula and coach now.

    Lakers have been praised as an organization for their patience. Nothing was patient about this last week. All Jerry’s call.

    If Lakers traded Pau for the benefit of the system now would be a good time. Need shooters, slashers and a one man fast break.

  74. Jim Buss clearly isn’t afraid to change his mind – Bynum’s trade and Brown’s firing showed that, so I don’t see this as an ego issue with him. The last year with the team, Phil seemed to have lost some of his motivation/fire, and the team was not responding to him. This would also be Phil without Tex Winter, again, who played a very significant role in the success he had. One of Phil’s greatest strengths was his willingness to have a strong group of assistants – that would be difficult to do at this point of the season. Presumably, he would be trying to implement some form of the triangle again, a difficult system to learn, on the fly – 75% of the roster had never played it before. And he would also only be a short-term solution (as someone noted above); D’Antoni has the potential for a much longer tenure. D’Antoni is also more imaginative offensively, which is what is needed to get the most of this roster.

  75. EX,

    Overall, this is a good choice but I have some nagging questions how it went through.

    Where was the speculation of 95% Phil would be the next coach?
    Where are the details coming from Phil that he was making ridiculous demands?
    Why was it announced midnight of early Monday morning?
    Why did they put the fans on a roller coaster feeling with a jerky decision making?

    Questions that we don’t need to know because the CEO made the call. However, it is just bad PR to go on high drama in choosing another coach.

    People in charge should not have allowed to let the speculations grow but just interview applicants.
    People should not release details of interview, if they do then allow Phil Jackson explain to the Laker nation why he is not taking the job
    People on the know should not make decisions at 3AM East Coast time, as if there was a great political event that has to be done.
    After all this high drama, the bottom line Lakers chose a Coach to rectify their season, it is a correction of mistakes done before.

    As Laker fans, we should have optimistic approach on the hiring of Mike D’Antoni. If it does not pan out, then fans will go back to this high drama. I think the best thing that could have happened was a meeting like what Magic Johnson did when he announced that he is retiring. Phil, Mitch, Jim are there in announcing that all of them have agreed that Mike D’Antoni was chosen to succeed Mike Brown. Phil will give his side of the story to give “official” closure to any speculation. IMO, that’s the professional way in dealing with public hysteria in their anticipation of Phil. You just don’t deflate emotions interpreted as sudden jerky decisions released at the middle of the night. It is like a wife asking for divorce at the middle of the night.

    Go Lakers with another Mike.

  76. Robert–

    I will go with the Kamenetzkys over Smith and Bayless any time.

    I am fine with the hire; I also obviously would have been fine with Phil. I think the fate of this team will be determined by things other than coaching now that Brown is gone:

    1. Howard’s back.
    2. Nash’s leg.
    3. I think they need to get a 3 or a backup 1; won’t be easy.

  77. Edwin,
    I would love to see their “pros and cons” lists for D’Antoni and Jackson. (And whoever else they were looking at.) Unfortunately, the Lakers never let us know how the sausage is made.

  78. Wow, that was very poorly handled. You don’t unleash all of these soundbytes about how it is Phil’s job to turn down and have Kobe talk gushingly about how he wants to complete Phil’s legacy and then do this.

    Very weird. Also D’antoni is now coaching an old and sort of fragile Lakers team. Plus, Nash will be retiring pretty soon, mst likely. The Suns offense was born out of necessity for its moving parts and a young Steve Nash.

    This Lakers team is trying to smash some perfect formula atop of a bunch of parts that are very disconnected with different philosophies. Phil was exactly the coach that they needed if they were ever going to mesh this strange roster together.

  79. Quick question. How do 2 7-footers work in a SSOL offense? Is the writing on the wall for Pau? Moving him has to be the logical next step, right?

  80. Jane: Thanks for agreeing with me. I can use any feel good thoughts I can get, because the last time I felt like this was the Veto ! This is becoming an annual right of passage for Laker fans this time of year !
    rr: Yes – the players health and other issues are important, but so is leadership, and cohesiveness, and just the way this was handled. Why go down this path? If Phil had said no – or asked for something outrageous, that is one thing, but to simply pick MD over Phil? Is this the Lakers?
    Jim: Exactly

  81. If they move Pau this season that means they are reshaping the roster to fit Antoni’s philosophy before it has been implemented on this roster. I find it hard to believe the Lakers would do that. They also have to make sure that Dwight is all the way back before they trade Pau.

    I think the FO will wait to see how things turn out. I’m guessing this roster will have a great regular season but will probably fall in the playoffs to the Thunder or Spurs, by virtue of the coaching difference. By that time we will have a better idea of how the Antoni experiment is working, Nash and Dwight’s physical condition and so on.

  82. Here’s an idea. We could just wait and let D’Antoni actually coach the team for a while and see how they look before we declare this the worst (or best) decision in the history of coach-hiring.

    In the immortal words of Master Po “Patience, grasshopper.”

  83. Warren, I and everyone else is questioning this decision – Everyone’s first choice including magic was Jackson – AK needs to keep his access to the team to keep his job so big surprise he puts a positive spin on this.

    His points are not even valid – against Dallas we had a big sulking Bynum not wanting to play or listen to anyone just like he acted last year jacking up 3s which had as much to do with the losses as anything else – Dallas just had a more complete team that year and Peja and Terry shot lights outs that series.

    Dwight could easily fill shaqs role from the early 2000s Lakers and Shaq even said that they should go after phil because it would help dwight – just like dwight said he wanted jackson – this would also make 25 yr old Dwight not 39 yr old Nash the center of the offense, which would make him happy as the problem he had in Orlando was that Jameer and Hedu took turns ballhogging it with an inability to make the entry pass to him which ended up with them taking more shots per game than he did – will the same thing happen with D’Antoni – will Dwight be happy being Tyson Chandler+

    Nash is not the future of this team, he is the now and who knows what will happen in the next 1-3 years as he could possibly start breaking down which would leave the whole offense out of whack as we do not have another guard who can handle the responsibility that Nash can – also this also takes out Kobe and Gasol out of the offense as opposed to the triangle where they would be focal points.

    I would say that it is better to have a 34 yr old Kobe or 25 yr old dwight manning things than a 39 year old Nash – in the triangle we could have extended nashs career + Phil still ran some PnR like we did in 08 with Kobe/Pau so to say that Nash would be completely ineffective would be innacurate if anything he would be a 5X better version of steve Kerr dropping 3s when he is wide open as opposed to having everyone else stand around as he runs around the key, which as everyone is saying will be full of defenders because we do not have the same shooters as the suns did when they were effective.

    If you even look back to 06 when we played the suns – with Kwame and Smush we were a tim thomas 3 away from taking out what the 2nd or 3rd ranked suns from the playoffs – they got a lucky bounce in 2 consecutive games and eventually won the series when they had vastly superior talent – that series alone showed us how much Phil could do with a limited roster and his effectiveness during games.

    The big knock against Mike D was his handling of his relationship with Carmelo – Mike D wanted to stick to his principles and was let go just like coach brown was just let go after being too rigged in his line ups and style – what will happen if Mike starts crying about not having shooters to play his offense just like brown was crying for a point guard – got one and then ruined him anyway.

    Overall the felling that I and everyone else is having is that this is the much riskier move if we are in fact trying to win now – Phil is considered the best coach ever in any sport – ever – any sport – you do not turn him down if you have a chance at getting him.

    Overall I and anyone else on this board wants the best for the lakers but this just seems like another perplexing choice when you have the option of a proven winner.

  84. This will be interesting with D’Antoni.

    It sounds like Phil wanted a lot. All new assistants would mean paying two sets of coaches. B Shaw may have cost a draft pick. Phil hand picking his successor ties their hands. It is short term solution which may not help sign Dwight long term.

    Then there is age, health, travel, fire in the belly, travel, control issues. It was most likely the whole package of issues that scared the Lakers off Phil.

    He’s 67. He’s a legend. He probably overestimated the hand he held, but I don’t blame him for asking for what he wanted, and I don’t blame the Lakers for going another direction.

    We will see a lot more of the kids I think if they are going to run.

  85. EX,

    After rejecting Phil, Mike D’Antoni was the best choice among the remaining three. Again, why fascination of Dunleavy who was an antiquated Laker Coach eons before? Why Nate, how about Jerry Sloan, Jeff Van Gundy, Lakers Showtime Players like: big game James, Coop, Magic or even Stu Lantz or Bernie Bickerstaff who has 2-0 record with this team Why limit it to four people? I thought it was a national search for new Coach.

    Pros of Mike D’Antoni:

    The uptempo offense with lot of p & r which is very ideal for our Big Four.
    His hiring is a great deal for Nash and also Kobe who knew him when he was young.
    Showtime is back with the turtle paced Lakers and neophytes on the bench.
    Mike D’Antoni will have a better offense than the Princeton complex
    Mike offense could be implemented in few practices compared to learning the triangle of PJ
    His Olympic experience as an assistant coach so he’s familiar with the Big Four.
    His European training as a former coach in Italian circuits.

    Cons on Mike D’Antoni

    Is he healthy to take over the team? He just had knee surgeries so they might wait for some weeks.
    His defense, his lack of defense with Suns and lack of defense with Knicks.
    Is Mike D’Antoni enough to re-sign Dwight? Can Nash handle uptempo next year or his 3rd year?
    Why four years, not three or even two? Is he the right Coach for long term after Kobe & Pau? What if Dwight does not like his style in two years, so we go on another coach hunt?
    Maybe, just maybe Morris and Meeks could get great coaching with D’Antoni in maximizing their speed. I foresee some difficulties with Metta, Hill, Blake, Jamison, Duhon and Clark. They are not apt to a running game or keep up with the starters pace.
    Mike D’Antoni has no rings and fired by two NBA teams. If he cannot make it in NY what makes you think he can handle the high drama of Hollywood?

    I wish we go back to Laker time machine and got the new version of Pat Riley. Winning cure all ills. Laker Coaching is all about winning and if you don’t, sorry we move on.

  86. Realistically D’Antoni is a good fit. He’s just not Phil, what everybody will be up in arms about. I think there are really good possibilities under D’Antoni’s system. As far as his failures to win a championship, I think that may be more of a consequence of circumstance (IE the San Antonio Spurs being at their peak).

  87. Between PJ and D’Antoni, only one has shown a capacity for adjusting to different personnel types (and it isn’t PJ). The idea that MDA only knows how to coach a 7 seconds or less offensive style is baffling. He took teams of limited talent and got them to overachieve, often by using an up tempo style, but he also coordinate the offense for the Olympic team, utilizing multiple stars in a slower tempo than his Phoenix teams used.

    I think a faster tempo (not necessarily fast break, but pushing the ball up the floor and shooting earlier in the clock) will allow several Lakers to play much better than what we’ve seen so far. Jodie Meeks and Antawn Jamison did not suddenly forget how to put the ball in the basket. Instead, their games were being forced into a new, slower style that is ALWAYS harder for role players to excel in. Part of what makes MDA’s style better for role players is that they get more and easier shots, which is how you build confidence.

    Offensively, this team is going to be better than it would have been with the triangle because more players are going to be involved, and this will open up the lane in ways that we simply haven’t seen under the triangle with TWO seven footers. This is a point that most fans seem to have ignored. The triangle has NOT worked with two seven footers. The lane is clogged, the pace slows, and outside shots become harder to take later in the shot clock.

    Concerns about defense are fine, but it isn’t as if Phil’s last Laker team was particularly good on that end of the floor….

  88. Watching the Lakers, I don’t see anyway that Gasol and Howard is a recipe for a title. Anymore than Gasol and Bynum could produce that result.

    Pau is a center. He’s not a power forward. Never has been, never will be. You can play him there for short periods of time but he’s too slow footed and awkward for 35 mins of power forward per game.

    He’s lost playing 15 – 20 feet from the basket. And when he’s shoots 20 footers the defense is celebrating. He has to go. He had to go last season too but Mitch couldn’t get enough for him in return.

    Now with MD as the coach, There is even more urgency.

  89. I like the hire and I believe it will work out for the best. Nash has extreme familiarity with Mike and can be a coach on the floor to help with the transition. Kobe and Dwight have worked with Mike during his Olympic stints.

    The Phil dance was embarrassing from a PR perspective. The team never should have allowed the impression that Phil was the number one candidate. It was, in reality, always a two horse race.

    In addition to the obvious drama of Phil and the Lakers previous go-arounds I think Phil’s desire to have personnel input was a deal breaker. My gut says that once Dwight is fully healthy Pau may be on the block. Houston has long wanted him and they have cap room & young assets. Hypothetically such a move would allow the Lakers to infuse youth and save significant dollars both this and next year. I don’t think Phil would have gone along with such a move.

  90. “the guy on the pringles can? yes!”

    Single funniest thing I’ve read on FB&G in my years of visiting. Thanks chibi.

    I do expect that our backup guards will actually look like NBA players under Captain Pringles. Blake, Morris and especially Meeks should play much better than they did under Mike Brown. Could also be a fantastic opportunity for Ebanks and Clark. Still think our starters are too old to benefit from this move though, and that’s a huge concern.

  91. I keep hearing how the Princeton offense should only be used with players who aren’t that good. Does anyone know what makes the Princeton a bad system for NBA and the Triangle a good system for the NBA? Don’t they both similar basketball philosophies?

  92. Reading all the doom and gloom over the appointment of D’Antoni before he’s even had a chance to do anything is mildly amusing.

    You just bought in a point guard like Nash and a center like D12, you don’t pigeon hole these guys into playing a style they’re not suited for, you could have Fisher playing for PJax in his system and it wouldn’t matter. Get behind the new coach, that’s the only logical thing Laker fans can do at this point.

    I’m excited by this appointment, the last 2 games I’ve seen only makes my point even more interesting, Lakers are essentially playing without a system (albeit against inferior opposition) and what I’ve seen is much better than what we were seeing beforehand. The only part of the game that I’m sceptical about with the Lakers is shooters, I can quite easily see a situation where Pau is traded for a stretch PF and a shooter (Korver for example).

    GET BEHIND D’ANTONI, stop with the “We Want Phil” chants. We have a coach now.

  93. Yes, I think that this means Pau is being traded. There are plenty of teams in the East that need size and would improve considerably with Pau at center.

  94. If you are homer, or you are “hoping for the best”, then so am I, so I an understand your support of MD, because that is our guy now. In my case, I am going to rant for a while before barking the homer “party line” on this.
    Mike D has coached in the NBA 10 years. He missed the playoffs 4 times, he was ousted in 1st round twice, he lost in the later WC rounds 3 times, and he was drummed out of NY last year. He has never been to the finals. His regular season percentage is 53 and his playoff percentage is 47. He had a two time MVP in Phoenix, and a very expensive roster in NY. Phil coached for 20 years, went to the finals 13 times, and won 11 rings. His regular season percentage is 70 and his playoff percentage is 69. If this was based on qualifications I think we know what the correct decision was. Further, the argument that KB respects MD and Nash loves him is ridiculous, because they all wanted Phil. What about Pau? What does he want? What about Dwight? How bout MWP? MD and MWP should be interesting. This was about Jimbo’s pride and Jimbo not wanting to give into his sister and her boyfriend. Petty family politics at its best.

  95. Mattal – there are serious discrepancies on what Phil’s demands were. However, I tend to agree that he would feel empowered to ask for the ‘moon’. I don’t believe that a coach should have personnel authority. I think the checks and balances of a normal management approach (owner/GM/coach) produces the creative tension needed to win.

    I saw a quote somewhere that essentially said: the guy you have (Mitch) just helped you get Nash and Howard – why would you want to take his control away? I agree.

    I think the team knows it has work to do in upgrading the bench. If Hill’s play makes Pau expendable for a package that includes a wing and some young bigs (looking at Houston hypothetically) then so be it. I love Pau – but at this stage he is more of a center and not a power forward.

  96. People need to relax a little – D’antoni ‘s offence here will be closer to what he designed and ran with USA bball – it will be closer to Miami’s space and pace uptempo offence than ssol. The pj fan boys need to take a pill. And anyone who says they’re in complete agreement with Steven a smith’s take on all this -well that sorta says everything right there. This was the right choice for the Lakers. No championship ‘s are guaranteed regardless who coaches. And given that this is jerry buss’s team and he’s willing to pay $9000000 in tax next season if they keep Howard – I think he’s earned the right to pick who he wants to coach. You’re free to disagree but don’t jump back on the bandwagon when they start to roll this season if you’re going to act like a hater now. Skepticism is fine – but acting as if your eminently more qualified to select who coaches this team than the GM and owners son who you all were just praising amonth ago for their astute running of the franchise is ludicrous. Laker fans are spoiled by their history and ownership – just be glad these guys are serious about winning and gave you a team that has a legit chance. Could be worse – fan’s on the phoenix sun’s forum’s are sick to their stomachs at what they lost there but can now see happening in LA.

  97. Point of clarification: the report is that MDA’s deal is for three years at $12 million, with a team option for the 4th year. This is likely FAR below what PJ would have required.

    Robert, your comparison of the records of MDA and PJ is a perfect example of the selective use of statistics. Why not cite that when going head to head MDA’s teams beat PJ’s teams in the playoffs? That would be ridiculous, of course, because PJ’s teams those years were loaded with inferior talent, but that’s the point. D’Antoni has NEVER had a roster as talented as any of the teams Jackson won titles with. It’s really comparing apples & oranges.

    Weren’t we all complaining about how the Princeton offense was forcing this team into a rigid system that didn’t play to the talents of Nash and Howard, produced too few shots, and relegated players like Meeks & Jamison and the rest to playing in a new and uncomfortable system? Doesn’t MDA’s style bring about the change we were clamoring for?

    Could Phoenix’s defensive liabilities have been more a product of personnel than coaching?

    Did the triangle ever work with two healthy 7 footers in the middle?

    Can’t we at least agree that we just got an enormous upgrade at head coach, even if some believe there was a better option?

  98. I’m honestly a little let down after all this teasing of the return of Phil, but can understand ownership’s reluctance of ceding too much control to someone they’ve never trusted completely (same with the Bulls).

    We’ve already seen that just not having Mike Brown coaching is already addition by subtraction. As long as D’antoni wins the confidence of Dwight, things hopefully will turn out okay. No guarantee of a championship, but that would’ve been true with Phil as well.

    With Phil’s demands and physical limitations, I honestly am not sure who else would hire him (that he’d want to coach). If D’antoni can’t get it done, he still may be an option in the future. But right now the Lakers need more than anything is stability.

  99. And for the record, if everyone wants to pick apart D’antonis accomplishments or track record then it’s also fair to say that Phil Jacksons records should all have the asterisk that he never won anything without having the consensus best player in the league on all of his teams and focused his offence around building around that one player. Aside from ego massaging – how do you know that Phil can really coach when he’s always had the best player in the league and then just installs his system, throws a bunch of roll players in the mix, then sits back like a pompous ass and tells them to figure it outand play thru adversity (which again is easy when you have the best player in the league on your team).

    If that sounds like a ridiculous argument to make then good – because that’s how silly the pj fanboys sound.

  100. We better hope our soon to be 39 year old PG is up to the challenge. I think this says the Lakers FO feels Pau Gasol is no longer the post player he was and Dwight will never be that guy.

  101. Funky: Yes we agree that this is a huge upgrade. Please re-read all of my posts. I said D’Antoni was my 2nd choice all along. I also was screaming for MB’s ouster, so that is good. We will improve. I do not want improvement. I want a championship, and this decision was obvious. And it is not just you, but your speculation that D’Antoni defensive and overall results were because he did not have the right type of personnel, is not a good reason to hire him. I could say that I should coach the Lakers before Phil, because I am younger, would have more desire, and would not be bothered by the travel schedule. Does that mean I am more qualified than Phil, because I can say a few things in my favor? The records speak for themselves, and the players clearly wanted Phil. Since I agreed with you, can you agree that this was handled poorly, and is a PR nightmare for the incoming coach?

  102. Jjerke,

    The offense that the Olympic team ran was similar to D’Antoni’s Phoenix offense. Both systems were based on speed, transition basketball and three point shooting. He used a SF like Marion/Lebron/Durant at PF to out quick the opposition and had plenty of shooters to out shoot the competition behind at the three point line. The Lakers have arguably the slowest PF in the league in Gasol, and a slow SF in Artest. Not only does this team lack the speed to employ his offense, they lack the shooters to space the floor. The offense may work during the regular season, but the LAST thing this team should want is to try to outrun teams like Denver and Miami come playoff time. The best strategy against those teams will be to slow down the pace.

    One of the reasons D’Anotoni’s system failed in New York was the front court of Chandler/Amare/Carmelo did not fit his system. Unless a trade is made to add speed (i.e. swapping Gasol for Josh Smith), this team does not have the pieces to employ his system, not against elite playoff teams.

    DAntoni could certainly prove to be an adaptable coach by making changes to his system to better fit his roster, but he has yet to prove he has that ability.

    Phil was by far the better choice for this roster, and I find it amusing that people are trying to discredit him based on his final season….the one where Kobe was unable to practice all season because he was injured and playing on one leg.

  103. It’s one thing to fire a coach that’s never won anything for a coach that has won 5 titles with your organization.

    But for another coach that’s never won anything and couldn’t make anything happen in New York?

    Maybe I’m just disappointed that Phil Jackson won’t be our guy. Dude’s a winner.

  104. Phil is a legend, but I think we all knew deep down inside that he would not be the right fight here *at this particular moment*. The triangle is not something you can pick up on the fly, plus Phil was not happy with all of the travel. Oh, and lets not forget that most of the coaches on the staff also don’t know the triangle.

    D’Antoni is no Phil, but given where we are in the season and our pieces, he makes a ton of sense. Plus, he is cheaper than Phil.

    In the end, it does not matter who they pick, as long as the FO made an effort to keep Kobe in the loop and Kobe feels like his opinion was heard (even if not followed), then we are good.

  105. Robert, I’m not sure that it was handled poorly because I don’t know what information was officially released by the organization between the firing of Brown and the hiring of MDA. I heard a lot of speculation, and a lot of rumors, as well as statement from people like Magic Johnson (who long ago lost his “insider” status as a source of credible information). For that reason, I can’t condemn the front office to handling it badly. It’s quite possible that they simply explored their options with the two best candidates, and made a decision based on financial and basketball reasons to go with one over the other.

    I am confused by your dismissal of the talent gap between these two coaches’ teams over the years. Nobody is suggesting that Phil isn’t a great coach. He is that, and more. He also was objectively bad during his last year in LA, and clearly benefitted from having teams consisting of FAR greater talent than anything D’Antoni ever had. Surely that must explain some of the difference between their records, no? On the rare occasions when MDA had more talent, his teams went farther than PJ’s. That, too, should count for something if you are going to base your opinion on their past successes, shouldn’t it?

    To simply say “the records speak for themselves” is hardly conclusive. By that measure, Derek Fisher is the equal of Magic Johnson, and radically better than Steve Nash. Don’t get me wrong, past success is important, but it’s also greatly affected by overall talent levels. Hiring Pat Riley wasn’t a bad move because he’d never won a title when the Lakers brought him out of the booth to be head coach.

    My argument for hiring MDA isn’t that his record as a defensive coach can be overlooked; it’s that his record of getting less talented teams to play WAY above their ability, and his aptitude for bringing an exciting and effective offense to a team that has, frankly, been boring and average at best on offense (despite the presence of multiple all stars) over the last year. That, plus the fact that he was, at worst, the 2nd best available coach out there and someone who won’t be a diva in the way PJ could be–and someone who the team could reasonably look to as more than an interim, two year coach, makes this decision totally defensible.

  106. Latest report has that Dantoni is looking to add McMillan as a defensive assistant – we would pretty much have most of team USAs coaching staff – I may have had a gut reaction before because we all love Phil but if we end up getting both Dantoni and McMillan it could turn out a lot better than expected.

  107. darius: where to begin? something doesn’t smell right, guess in time we’ll find out or not.

    thoughts to ponder regarding the hiring of coach d’antoni:

    the man with the midas touch has done lost his mind.
    the man with the midas touch has a crystal ball that tells him this hiring won’t matter because the world as we know is ending on 12/21/12.
    the man with the midas touch believes blood is thicker than water.
    the man with the midas touch is intending this to be a hire for another interim coach.

    the media for the most part is responsible for the bait and switch. how else can we explain the thinking behind the hiring of coach d’antoni in lieu of coach jackson?

    a laker nation divided is not good for purposes of obtaining it’s objective: another nba championship. i thought this was april 1st, some kind of bad nightmare propagated via internet giant: yahoo.com; friends of cuban cigar mark. and he thought he had it bad over there in dallas. he’s gotta be laughing his you know what off right about now because of the chaos surrounding the new enlightenment bestowed on laker nation.

    a nation divided cannot stand, so we need to get our collective you know what’s together and stand behind the organization until there is a new organization. and then we stand behind that organization.

    Go Lakers is what we are all about.

  108. I don’t like this. The talk around the team is everything BUT basketball. It’s coaching changes, system changes, family feuds (Jeanie vs Jim), Triangle vs SSOL, etc. This is not the way a team begins a championships campaign. The Lakers haven’t even played 10 regular season games yet.

    Phil’s system fit closer with this roster than D’Antoni’s. Personnel moves are all but certain now. How much upheaval can the team sustain and still have the identity and confidence for a title run? They have this season and next. If the Lakers don’t settle all these sideline distractions soon this season will become a lost cause.

  109. If you want Lakers to succeed under D’Antoni, don’t move anybody but let the system work and their contracts expire. Continue the system with reduced Pau & Kobe’s contract and build a nimble 2nd unit to replace them in the future. Why trade some and acquire another salary albatross that will hang up the Lakers salary cap? We don’t even know the future of D’Antoni with the Lakers and we’re now on trading speculation. When do you stop moving someone and start playing good and steady basketball? Win the season with this set of players, make some adjustments during ASG and give D’Antoni the time to set in his system to every player.

  110. Which teams would fans like to watch more — Showtime or Phil’s Kobe teams? Most of us would rather watch Showtime – and they played defense too.

    Who is more likely to bring us Showtime, or something close — Phil or Mike? Yeah! I thought so.

    Also, who is going to be better long-term? Yeah! I thought so.

    Anybody think maybe this is what was running through ownership’s head?

    P.S. Riley wasn’t exactly known as a defensive coach when he took the reins of an already great club. Matter-of-fact he didn’t even have much coaching experience, never mind head coaching.

  111. Good articles over on espn.com now favouring the hire. Lakers were damned if they did /damned if they don’t – if they just hired mike did immediately everyone would’ve clamoured as towhy they didn’t pursue Phil, so they instead do their diligence and approach Phil first, realize he’s not the fit they want and still have to deal w fanbase that now blames them still for not hiring Phil. They couldn’t win either way they did this.

    I’d post the insider of articles but have a feeling that’s verboten on here but will say that they are very fair both good and bad – but feel for sure that this is the best direction for this team

  112. For those worrying about our defense under Mike D this should ease your mind. The chatter around the league seems to point to Nate Macmillan being offered the defensive coordinator job. If that is the case we will have landed 2 of the top 3 candidates. Nate has one of the best defensive minds in the NBA.

  113. So nobody knows why the Princeton offense is not a good fit for the NBA but the Triangle is???

  114. I don’t like Mike D’s philosophy of trying to outscore teams and to make defense secondary. That type of team throughout the last 20 years has never won a championship. Look at any team that has won titles- Spurs- known for their great defense. Of course last year it was more offense for the Spurs and less defense and they could not stop the Thunder. Bulls- they had Jordan, but their defense was always one of the top in the league. Lakers from 2000-2002 had dominant defense. Even the Pistons when they beat the Lakers won because Larry Brown had that team playing incredible defense. History speaks for itself, DEFENSE wins championships. Do you really think Mike D is going to have this team playing championship defense? Not even close, the team already has defensive deficiencies as it is. The Lakers will be fun to watch and they will dominant some games, but I can’t see this team winning a title under Mike D. The philosophy of just trying to outscore teams does not work in the long run.

  115. The number one cliche about coaching is that a good coach can tailor his system to maximize the skillsets of his personnel. I can’t believe that Mike D is so inflexible that he won’t be able to utilize the players on the Lakers’ current roster. Let’s hope he chooses a good defensive assistant and makes the best out of what is the best situation he has ever had.

  116. Don’t forget Chris Paul is going to be a FA–suddenly the Lakers look a lot more appealing to a ball dominant pg . . .

  117. These comments about the showtime Lakers are silly. That team is gone. Those players are gone. That era is gone. Just cause you hired Mike D’antoni? Have things become that delusional in lala land?

    So you bring in 39 year old Steve Nash, who is fragile. Then you hire Mike D’antoni because of his familiarity with Nash and Kobe is comfortable around him? This hiring process is just as dysfunctional and desperate as the Mike Brown hire.

    This team is not good defensively. They are slow. ESPECIALLY their front line.