Found November 12, 2012 on Sports Blog Net:
Nothing like starting your work week off with a jolt, I suppose. Hollywood’s team is in the business of making headlines, and hiring Mike D’Antoni over presumed-favorite candidate Phil Jackson is just the latest move in Lakerland that will launch a thousand blog posts. Still, even if we as fans are conditioned to expect dramatic storylines and unforeseen plot-twists with this franchise, this decision has to rank as a true Shyamalan. So much for this being Big Chief Triangle’s “job to turndown” And so much for conventional thinking. On the surface, a typical observer would think that if you have someone with 11 rings ready to come back at guide your team, you don’t think twice about it. If you have a coaching vacancy, and you use a coach’s CV as the determining factor in hiring decision, when Phil Jackson is available and interested, that is the play. Period. There simply is no other equally qualified candidate alive where past success is concerned. If you were hoping to commission a painting for the ceiling of your church, and Michelangelo is reportedly interested, there is no debate. It’s not that there aren’t other candidates who may bring talent and insight to the job – it’s just that they aren’t immortal in their field. It is not an indictment of Mike D’Antoni’s qualifications to say his hiring is a surprise. It’s just that if The Bard is ready and willing to write you a play, you probably don’t hire George Barnard Shaw. Yet that is the direction the Lakers have gone in, leaving NBA fans and Jackson similarly “stunned”. When we start to assess the decision on a tactical level, it begins to make a great deal more sense. This is owed primarily to the Lakers personnel. While he is one of the greatest shooters of all-time and could have thrived in the Craig Hodges-Steve Kerr role, Nash’s unique talents as a playmaker would have been stifled in the Triangle. There would have been legitimate concerns about whether or not Howard is a good enough passer to have had the triple-post work through him. The Lakers’ bench, already hard-pressed to outscore even most starting units at elite D1 schools, would have had to learn a complex offense without the benefit of training camp. All these and more are the most likely reasons D’Antoni, not Jackson, is going to have the chance to try to right this ship. Given the early hour at which this news broke, one could make the case that there are really only three things we – the non-Mark Steins of this world - know right now: · Nashy will be ecstatic to have one more run at a title with The ‘Tasche; · Kobe will be disappointed not to have PJ’s book recommendations to ignore, but will likely be contented given his affection for D’Antoni; · Jerry Buss’ accountants are thrilled to not have to call Brinks for a truck to back up to Jackson’s house. For the sake of symmetry then, let’s also work off the idea that there are three critical things we do not know right now: · Will a “7 Seconds or Less” philosophy work for a team this old? · Will the team’s chances of resigning Dwight be impacted by this move? · Could this lead to roster changes? In addressing the first unknown, we are assuming D’Antoni will be bringing his fabled run-and-shoot system with him to Los Angeles, which is likely a good bet. Whether or not it will be a good fit remains to be seen. The D'Antoni-Era Suns were able to play at the pace they did because they had the personnel to make the majority of their shots, particularly from three. This Lakers’ team does not have the shooters on it to suggest a similar plan will be successful. They are old, big, and slow in comparison to those Phoenix teams. Yet they also have four Hall of Famers though, which tends to make up for other shortcomings. With respect to the impact this will have on Dwight Howard specifically, one would have to assume he can still thrive in D’Antoni’s system, as other mobile bigs have in the past. The question will be how D’Antoni’s staff will approach defense, and whether or not they stress a commitment to both sides of the ball so that Howard is not constantly being asked to bail his teammates out because of missed rotations and matador ball-defending. It is a positive sign for LA fans that Howard and D’Antoni have an existing relationship from the 2008 Olympic team, something that may be a building block to greater trust and communication, and a familiarity he would not have had with Jackson. Still though, whether or not he and D’Antoni align philosophically will play a role in his decision about re-signing with the team this summer – the Busses had better hoped to bet correctly here. Finally, there is the question or whether or not the Lakers will make any significant roster shakeups to better accommodate to D’Antoni’s system. There is a distinct possibility that the team now looks to acquire players in the mold from those Suns’ team: shooters with infinite range and no conscience who can run the floor and drive up the total number of possession each game. There is already (extremely premature and unfounded) talk afoot that they should look to trade Pau Gasol for a more athletic big to stand-in as in-his-athletic-prime Amare Stoudemire. The idea that Josh Smith – a childhood friend of Dwight Howard’s – might be available is tantalizing, since on paper he would be the ideal asset for this team, but it ignores the truth that the team has yet to properly explore the type of partnership Nash could form with Gasol, and is based more in fantasy than fact. Perhaps that is to be expected though – on Friday morning Mike Brown was still the coach of this team, and the “facts” all seemed to point to him getting more time to figure out how to use all of the assets at his disposal. It was mere fantasy at that point that over the next 72 hours the team would be in a position to court, and ultimately reject, the greatest coach in NBA history, and yet that is exactly what happened. Never say never with the Lakers. The organization has the mechanics of plot twists down pate – and they know we will all tune in next spring for this story’s ultimate surprise ending.

Although not the quality of Phil Jackson, Mike D’Antoni will help the Los Angeles Lakers capture their 18th Larry O’Brien NBA Championship Trophy this June

Leaving Hall of Famer Phil Jackson “stunned,” Los Angeles Lakers’ suits unanimously chose offensive wizard Mike D’Antoni to become the organization’s next head coach over the “Zen Master” earlier today. The 61-year-old D’Antoni, who was last employed by the New … Continue reading →

Phil Jackson Seen In Los Angeles ‘Sporting a Mustache,’ Proving Coverage of Lakers Debacle Has Gotten Out of Hand

We can understand the excitement at the prospect of Phil Jackson returning to the bench for the Lakers. The fastest way to exorcise the failures of the recent past is to try to recapture the greatness of the not-so-recent past, and Jackson and the Lakers had a lot of success during their on-again, off-again marriage from 1999 to 2011, even if the marriage was not always a serene...

Mike D’Antoni Hiring Makes Sense for Lakers, Even If Fans Clamored for Phil Jackson

Mike D’Antoni used to look like he was having so much fun. When his teams in Phoenix were operating at a frenetic pace offensively and playing better than advertised defensively, the coach often seemed to have a bemused smile on his face, even after most losses. The man could coach, everyone knew it, and everyone seemed to appreciate it. Then D’Antoni went to New York and the...

With Brown out of town, its time for Phil to swoop in again

With the biggest news of the week in the NBA coming out of Los Angeles in the firing of Mike Brown as head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, one has to wonder who will inherit the “Super Team” of Nash, Kobe, Pau, and Dwight. I bet we can hardly count the free agent coaches out there with our fingers and toes that would chomp at the bit to coach a starting unit like that; but lets...

Lakers will pay for passing on Phil

Welcome to Lakerland, where the working motto is now: another day, another bombshell. Just when it seemed inevitable that Phil Jackson would ride to the rescue after the Lakers shocked the NBA by firing Mike Brown five games into the season, they pulled an even more astonishing move late Monday night by hiring Mike D'Antoni as coach. The deal, for three years and $12 million...

Phil Jackson Decision on Lakers Coaching Job Expected Monday, With Hall of Famer Not Sure He Wants to Return

Phil Jackson has known for months that he wanted to coach again. Mike Brown was quickly removed from the Lakers job once a suitable testing period (five games) had been completed. Kobe Bryant wanted Jackson’s return. Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol and Steve Nash would be lifted to their full potential just as soon as Jackson, who was about as sure to take the job the minute it opened...

Mike D’Antoni To The Lakers: The Return Of The Pringles Man

The Pringles Man has come back to the NBA as Mike D'Antoni (and not Phil Jackson) will serve as the head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers. Steve Nash is pleased.The post Mike D’Antoni To The Lakers: The Return Of The Pringles Man appeared first on The Sports Fan Journal.

Mike D’Antoni was just as shocked as you were he was hired as Lakers head coach

Newly minted Lakers head coach Mike D’Antoni was just as shocked as everyone else to discover it was him and not Phil Jackson who would be taking over the coaching reins for the Lakers. D’Antoni has started giving interviews and has been cleared to fly – he had knee surgery but he’s good to go [...]

Kobe Bryant wants Phil Jackson or Mike D’Antoni as next Laker coach

The Lakers went out Friday night and smacked up the Golden State Warriors 101-77  for win number two. Of course following the game, the question everyone wanted answered was who would Kobe like to see coach the Lakers. This is what Mamba had to say on that subject: “Phil, obviously, you guys know how I [...]

Hall of Famer Phil Jackson wants to add Brian Shaw and Scottie Pippen to his staff on the Los Angeles Lakers

With Hall of Famer Phil Jackson expected to be formally announced as the Los Angeles Lakers new head coach tomorrow, the “Zen Master” is attempting to add Brian Shaw and Scottie Pippen to his staff. The 46-year-old Shaw, who won … Continue reading →

Kings-Lakers Preview

While rumors continue to swirl about the possible return of Phil Jackson to the bench, the Los Angeles Lakers are keeping their focus on trying to move past their slow start. The Lakers will attempt to move one step closer to the .500 mark when they welcome the Sacramento Kings to Staples Center on Sunday night. With the additions of superstars Dwight Howard and Steve Nash, expectations...

Lakers announce D'Antoni as new coach

The Los Angeles Lakers announced the hiring of coach Mike D'Antoni on Monday. D'Antoni replaces Mike Brown, who was fired on Friday. The Lakers signed D'Antoni to a multi-year deal but did not release the terms of the contract. However, it is believed to be for three years and worth $12 million. "After speaking with several excellent and well-respected coaching...

D'Antoni expects to put Lakers in title hunt

New Los Angeles Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni said he will be a failure at the Staples Center if he doesn’t put his new team in the title hunt. "I'm going to do everything I can do to win a championship," D'Antoni told KSPN-AM 710 on Tuesday. "If we're not at least in the hunt, a serious hunt, then I've failed as a head coach. I'm comfortable...
NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.