There’s a new coach in Laker Land, and his name isn’t Phil Jackson.
Lakers fans let the organization know who they wanted during Friday night’s game against Golden State hours after the firing of Mike Brown, chanting “We want Phil” in the third quarter.
But the Lakers did not give them Phil. They gave them Mike.
Given his history with Steve Nash in Phoenix and Kobe Bryant with Team USA, D’Antoni is a known commodity in the Lakers’ locker room. Bryant actually wore No. 8 early in his career in honor of D’Antoni, who he grew up watching play professionally in Italy. Asked about the coaching vacancy shortly after Mike Brown was fired, D’Antoni wasn’t shy about his interest.
“If they offer it, I’d love it,” he told FOX Sports Southwest. “It’d be a perfect fit.”
After the Lakers’ confirmed the hire on Sunday evening, not everyone was a convinced he was the best man for the job.
“We have always been taught, conventional basketball wisdom-wise, that defense wins championships,” Stephen A. Smith said on SportsCenter Monday morning. “Points wins games. Defense wins rings. D’Antoni doesn’t have any rings. Phil Jackson had 11. That was your alternative. You passed up on him.”
Rey Moralde of LakersNation.com struck a far more measured tone than Smith while breaking down impact of D’Antoni’s arrival.
“It’s not Phil Jackson but this isn’t a bad consolation prize, either,” wrote Moralde. “Mike D’Antoni has the credentials and has the support of most of the players.”
How will the Lakers’ decision go over with Lakers fans? Do you think hiring D’Antoni was a good move?
Article Courtesy of The Huffington Post