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Lakers hire Mike D’Antoni – the offensive version of Mike Brown

Chuck - Red's Army November 12, 2012 Around the NBA 20 Comments

So much for Phil Jackson. We East Coast basketball fans woke up this morning to a pleasant surprise – the Lakers hired Mike D’Antoni as head coach.  We weren’t the only ones caught off guard. Phil Jackson is reportedly stunned.

The hiring isn’t going over well in LA. Bill Plaschke of the LA Times:

Mike D’Antoni is a great guy and a charismatic presence. If they add some younger and quicker pieces, the Lakers could eventually be wildly fun. But he has even less credibility with players than Mike Brown. He is exactly as one-dimensonal as Mike Brown. And his postseason basketball success makes Mike Brown look like, well, Jackson.

If you want to hire D’Antoni, you give Brown more than five games to get this roster figured out, because the transition time for D’Antoni is going to be long and the rewards are going to be questionable. If you want to hire D’Antoni, you make darn sure this season is trashed first, because there are no guarantees that his system can get any team past the second round.

D’Antoni is a decent NBA coach. He won 60+ games twice in Phoenix and reached the conference finals twice. Steve Nash thrived in his system during those years. Experts say Dwight Howard will excel in D’Antoni’s pick-and-roll sets.

The knock on D’Antoni is defense – he doesn’t coach it. I’m told the Knicks were top-10 in defensive efficiency in his final season. Okay…   I still need more convincing.

So while Showtime is coming back to Los Angeles, the questions that surrounded this team with Mike Brown at the helm remain.

Can D’Antoni manage the egos? He sure as hell had a tough time with Carmelo Anthony.

Can D’Antoni handle the pressure? Remember what Magic Johnson said, the Lakers are about winning championships now.

How will the Lakers bench perform? Steve Nash’s health is even more important now that he’s the focal point of the offensive scheme.

I think this hire is a lateral move. The Lakers will be fun to watch offensively, but there will be a drop-off defensively. And there’s no guarantee D’Antoni has the cache to handle this team.

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  • Shawncvd

    I’m of the opinion that this is a much better coach than Mike Brown. Not saying much of course as Mike Brown couldn’t coach a machete out of a wet paper bag… but still.

    The point Plaschke makes is moot due to Mike Browns play-off success exclusively is due to JeBron. To D’Antoni’s credit I believe he’ll post huge offensive numbers with the starters and the system will help their piss-poor bench get a few easy buckets.

    TG the Celtics got Doc Rivers though…

  • Danno

    Doc’s reaction upon hearing the news:

    http://i.imgur.com/Ygk3k.jpg

    • CelticsKid34

      hahah at first i was like…”what?” then i looked at his shirt.. ahhaa yeah lakers arent getting anywere with D’antoni

  • RedsLoveChild

    This is very good news.

    It means exactly one thing : Phil Jackson does NOT believe LA has enough talent to win a championship.

    • Drew

      So you’re off “We are doomed because the lakers are so good” wagon? I hope this means you can start to hate Miami and LeBron more now.

      • RedsLoveChild

        Not quite.

        It now appears that Phil really DID want to come back.

        It was the Lakers who decided they`d rather not put up with crap his crap any lomger.

        So, no…..the Lakers remain the #1 team we should all be concerned with.

  • Danno

    Nah. Jackson was ready to come back, but only if LA gave him a sizable chuck of ownership percentage. The Buss family turned him down.

    • RedsLoveChild

      Jackson`s demands were high : $10M+ salary, limited travel schedule, voice in personnel decisions, piece of cable TV deal, voice in choosing his successor, etc.

  • Lakers4Life

    If i was Phil i would have asked for the same thing. Jim Buss is gonna run the Lakers into the ground, i’ve said it all along. He’s just convincing me more by doing this today..

  • CelticsKid34

    just because the coach doesnt teach it doesnt mean a whole group of veterans is going to forget how to play defense… i wouldnt worry too much… its better than brown. that suprised me that they wouldnt hire Jackson. they goofed big time

  • http://driveittothemoon.com/ Lee in Oregon

    Huge mistake and that’s fine with me.

    I think it’s funny that all the Laker’s kiss Jerry Buss’s ass and call him “Dr”…….the guy is a PHD, not a real doctor. What are they gonna do when someone has a heart attack at a laker game- drag the old man down so he can explain the chemical make-up of uranium?

    • Haha

      You’re an idiot if you think only Dr.’s can be called Dr.

    • RedsLoveChild

      Let`s not forget “Doc” Rivers!

  • Kung Pau

    Disclaimer: Laker fan here.

    That said, I think this is a potentially strong hire. No one is gonna confuse D’Antoni with Tom Thibodeau, but the guy got the Knicks playing halfway decent D WITH Amar’e AND Melo on the roster – that has to count for something.

    D’Antoni is also going to let his players play, which with this roster should be a good thing. And the Lakers have always been a particularly odd breed in that their playing well on offense helps them play better defense. (Which is usually the other way around – probably something in the water in L.A.)

    In a perfect world, we’d welcome back the Zen Master to relive the Shaq-Kobe era with out the Shaq part, but Phil was clearly burnt out in 2011 and it showed – quite embarassingly – in the playoffs. It’s not quite clear that he’d regain the fire to coach again after only a year away.

    • Drew

      Go away

    • Chulinho

      I understood what you’re getting at, but…

      “The guy got the Knicks playing halfway decent D WITH Amar’e AND Melo on the roster – that has to count for something.”

      Mike Woodson was a bigger factor in the Knicks’ defense than D’Antoni last season.

      “D’Antoni is also going to let his players play, which with this roster should be a good thing.”

      There’s this guy on the Los Angeles Lakers named Kobe Bryant. Are you sure you want the Lakers’ offense to run at his discretion rather than a designed system?

      “Their playing well on offense helps them play better defense.”

      It’s not the Lakers offense that’s struggling. It’s their bench, and even more so their defense that is.

  • greenman

    Any coach is a better choice than Mike Brown. Too bad they let that idiot go.

  • Lakers4Life

    I just don’t see how u don’t hire Phil when he wants to come back? Jim Buss is a damn loser man. Must be nice havin a decent owner C’s

    • Drew

      You have to give Phil what he wants. He’s the greatest NBA coach ever. He can manage egos like I’ve never seen. Buss is a moron. Phil only wants to help that team. Why say no to all of those reasonable demands? Thank God he didn’t come back, but damn if they didn’t screw up big time.

      • Curt

        No one else said it, so I will. Phil Jackson has not been proven to be the best NBA coach ever. He couldn’t even win a championship without Jordan or Kobe…the Celtics didn’t need either one of them.