Mike D’Antoni hobbled into his introductory presser and sat ever so slowly down. The way he moved he could have been Phil Jackson – but he isn’t. D’Antoni was in a perfectly affable mood, if admittedly fried on painkillers. He had a knee replaced just two weeks ago. The new Lakers coach had a lot of good and reasonable things to say and talked more about Jodie Meeks and Steve Blake than he did Kobe Bryant. This is as it should be. Kobe doesn’t need to be stroked. Meeks on the other hand signed with the team as a free agent and was consigned to non-existence under Mike Brown. It’s refreshing to hear that he’ll finally have a chance to bomb away at will.
The matter of Jackson would have started to die down if it weren’t for Magic Johnson deciding to extend the news cycle. I’m a huge Phil Jackson fan myself but it’s over and done. He, Jimmy and Mitch put on their big boy pants when they climbed back into the ring. Phil zigged and they zagged. Meanwhile, the Lakers have a game to play tonight – hosting the Phoenix Suns of all teams. Bernie Bickerstaff will most likely take the lead chair once again, with D’Antoni looking toward Sunday or Tuesday for his Lakers coaching debut.
Howard Beck of the NY Times reports on Coach D’Antoni’s first day at work.
Mike Trudell from the Lakers’ site details yesterday’s introductory press conference.
Mark Medina for the L.A. Daily News weighs in on Magic and Mike D’s presser.
Janis Carr at the OCRegister says Coach D’Antoni will reach out to a ‘mourning’ Magic Johnson.
Kevin Ding at the OCRegister looks further into the reasons for D’Antoni’s hire and what the new system might look like.
Actuarially Sound at Silver Screen and Roll has a great editorial about how Mike Brown shot himself in the foot.
Ben Rosales at Silver Screen and Roll had a good write-up on the loss to the Spurs the other night, a game of inches.
Kurt Helin at ProBasketballTalk examines Kobe’s support for Jim Buss, as well as the tactical game that went into the D’Antoni hire.
Brett Pollakoff at ProBasketballTalk reports the Coach D’Antoni will likely make his debut on Sunday.
Arielle Moyal at Lakers Nation offers rumors and news recaps after all the crazy.
Today is Friday – one week to the day after the stunning news of Mike Brown’s firing. The morning’s news led into a memorable 48-hour period which in turn extended to a full week of debate and commentary. And for all that has happened, the team has barely begun their on-court season. They possess a record of three and five, good for 14th place in the west. That will change. In truth, it would have changed under former coach Mike Brown, a hardworking guy who wasn’t as bad as his team’s record indicated or as good as he needed to be in the world that is the Los Angeles Lakers. One of Phil Jackson’s favorite zen sayings is “Unceasing change turns the circle of life, and so reality is shown in all its many forms.” We’re about to see a new reality under Mike D’Antoni. I suspect it will be fun and the fodder for much writing and discussion.