Just when it seemed it was a no-brainer and that former NBA coach Phil Jackson was all but on his way to replace Mike Brown on the Lakers' bench, comes news LA went with former Suns and Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni as their new head coach.
According to the Los Angeles Times' Mike Breshahan, L.A. has signed D'Antoni to a four-year deal after Jackson demanded "the moon" (management position) which caused the Lakers to go with D'Antoni.
Mike D'Antoni signed a four-year deal with the Lakers. Phil Jackson was "asking for the moon," accoring to source familiar w/ the situation.— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) November 12, 2012
When Brown was let go by LA, D'Antoni did say he would love to take the job if it was offered and felt it be a perfect fit. Well his wish is granted.
Though his past coaching experiences were not that bad at least during the regular season, D'Antoni never reached the NBA Finals while with the Suns and his time with the Knicks was short.
While with the Suns, he guided Phoenix to the playoffs four times in his five year stint including twice to the Western Conference Finals. With the Knicks, he took them to the first round of the playoffs in 2011 but lost to Boston. The following year, he resigned after an 18-24 start.
Though his "seven seconds or less," little defense played style did not win a title while in Phoenix or New York, in LA it might work. He will be reunited with Steve Nash who knows his offense, will have Nash and Dwight Howard to run the pick-and-roll as he did with Nash and Amar'e Stoudemire in Phoenix which might be more effective in L.A. Moreover, he has coached Kobe Bryant while an assistant coach with Team USA.
The former 2005 NBA Coach of the Year will have his hands full and trying to ensure LA wins now. This team is built to win now considering Howard isn't committed to LA beyond this season, and Bryant and Nash aren't getting younger.
Having a free-flowing offense will definitely make the Lakers a fun team to watch during the regular season, but like all of D'Antoni's past teams, will they be able to play defense when it matters - the playoffs - where for LA it's title or bust.
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