Of course by now everyone has weighed in on the firing of Mike Brown after only 5 games into the season, and most recently, Laker Nations decision to hire offensive wizard Mike D’Antoni. But before you ask yourself whether this was a good decision or not, you must first remind yourself “what’s at steak?”
The Lakers organization has won 16 NBA TITLES… 2nd only to the Boston green machines 17. The pillars of the game Karreem, Goodrich, Chamberlain, Baylor, Magic, and the logo Jerry West, all set the stage while Shaq, Kobe and Phil brought them back to greatness.
“What’s at steak?” Basketball world domination! And if that is indeed the goal, why would you not go with Phil Jackson? He holds the Belt in “NBA Bad Ass.” He’s won 2 championships as a player, 11 as a coach. He’s managed greatness, divas, egomaniacs, walkons, and found a way to delegate responsibility while building trust in his system. Trust, the most important factor in any player/coach relationship. In any journey there are going to be many distractions and obstacles, the key to a successful season is believing in the process while the world around you is crumbling. Commanding a locker room with more than rhetoric…
The system – triangle. Having studied and played against the triangle, 3 things come to mind. Constant ball movement makes it easy for your best players because when the floor is spaced you have more room to operate. Second, it puts players who “think” that they are better than they are on a leash. Hero ball sticks out like a sore thumb. 3rd skilled position players are put into positions that hide deficiencies and highlight specialties. Dwight Howard is a free agent at the end of the year, signing Jackson would have put pressure to stay on Dwight, who’s first choice was Brooklyn.
Lastly, why Phil? Hiring Phil would have put pressure on one man only – Phil. The team would’ve been able focus on the process and not the noise around because their captain would have navigated this championship hike before. A calming presence is needed in the Hollywood circus. Now coach D’Antoni …He was quoted as responding to his hiring with a “are you serious?” Well let’s just start there… He didn’t think he was a better choice than Jackson.
D’Antoni is an offensive genius as shown by his four-year stint in Phoenix… Nash thrived with 2 MVP seasons under coach’s direction. He was an assistant for the U.S. Men’s Olympic team and plans to implement the gold medal system in LA. But before we give coach a ring you must first give him time to put his system in place. With no training camp, more than likely this will be a bumpy process. You must also give him the players he needs in order to get the most out of his offense. Most importantly, some knock down shooters – preferably 3pt gunners who love to stand in the corner. D’Antoni must hire a defensive coach because no team under his tutorage loosely resembled a team that was instructed to play on more than the offensive end of the court.
The fact remains that this is Kobe’s team. You have to trust the fact that he will be the leader in the locker room (coaches included). The fact that time is not on his side (old legs), I believe this will work for Laker fans because his intensity will continue to increase as retirement draws nearer. One fact to take as you please… The Lakeshow has never had 4 all stars. They may this year… If they don’t make it to the championship, where do you go from there?………….Phil!