Can I keep it real? Am I allowed to be brutally blunt and honest about this decision, in regards to the Lakers hiring former Suns and Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni? This has to be probably the most idiotic move the Lakers could have made.
As you may have seen before, I have love for Phil Jackson. Why? Because he’s a proven consistent winner. His demeanor reeks excellence. Players have buckets of confidence in Phil because of his immaculate resume. Eleven championships. Five of those chips coming with the Lakers. He’s a proven entity. He’s coached Kobe Bryant twice already.
But…. the organization’s biggest concern was that the Lakers’ horrid offense (10th with 98.6 points a night — with star players, that constitutes a horrid failure to meet expectations) wouldn’t thrive in the “Triangle Offense” because of its possible lack of familiarity with new players, especially with their newest stars, Dwight Howard and Steve Nash. Listen Lakers management: I don’t care about your reservations with the system and your concerns. Phil implemented the triangle twice to different Lakers squads with only a few pieces remaining the same throughout. Result? Five championships.
It’s like saying you have Kim Kardashian available and at your disposal. She’s primed and ready for you. You’re telling me you’re opting to go with Kathy Griffin, because she’s safer? You have a “10” willing to work with you and give you her all, but you say “No” because you want a “4”, who won’t be volatile or make crazy demands?
I won’t ignore D’Antoni’s .650 winning percentage he had with the Suns. I won’t ignore his four 50-plus win seasons with Nash. I won’t ignore how his “7 seconds or less” offense revolutionized the sport and transformed the league into a non-traditional game with expendable positions. But, I also won’t ignore that he only had one playoff berth in four years with the New York Knicks. I won’t ignore his disruptive and explosive relationship with stars such as Stephon Marbury andCarmelo Anthony. I won’t ignore his flawed system, which solely caters to offense, and has been known for lackluster defensive performances. For example, defensive efficiency seasonal ranks from 2005-2008 with Phoenix: 20th, 19th, 16th and 17th in the NBA. In his three full seasons with New York, those seasonal ranks were 24th, 27th and 21st in the NBA.
The proof is in the pudding. All I have to say to end this discussion is what, essentially, matters the most is this: Phil Jackson was reportedly ready to agree to terms to coach the L.A. Lakers. His 11 rings were ready to come and sit on the bench and educate these players. But instead, you went for the ringless liability in Mike D’Antoni?
You chose French Montana over Hov? Nice.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author, and not BallerStatus.com and/or its staff.