Lakers Pass on Phil, hire D'Antoni
Mike D'Antoni hired as coach of the Lakers
By Royce Young | Blogger
November 12, 2012 2:50 am ET
The Lakers have their new coach and it's not Phil Jackson.
The Lakers announced late Sunday night that they have come to terms with Mike D'Antoni on a four-year deal.
With all signs pointing towards a Jackson return, reportedly the 11-time NBA champion coach was just asking for too much. Jackson's health issues have been well documented and according to numerous reports, Jackson was hoping to arrange a special travel schedule to accomodate him. He also was said to be wanting control over the team and a hand in basketball decisions.
According to the report, Jackson was "asking for the moon."
By that account, it sounds like it's not Jackson who turned the Lakers down, but the Lakers who turned Jackson down. Which is a very interesting twist.
So the Lakers turned to their next choice, D'Antoni, who has a good relationship with Steve Nash and is regarded as one of the top offensive minds in the game. With the Lakers working to fit in new pieces, D'Antoni is likely seen as a coach that can maximize the offensive talents the team has on the floor.
D'Antoni, 61, reportedly interviewed with the team on Saturday by phone. The only other apparent serious candidate other than Jackson was said to be Mike Dunleavy.
There is some complication as D'Antoni is recovering from knee replacement surgery and isn't expected to be on his feet until December.
How does D'Antoni fit? Here's what Zach Harper of CBSSports.com wrote:
The Lakers weren't a bad offensive team to start the season, so it's easy to say D'Antoni isn't going to fix that. You also need more than a couple of practices to get D'Antoni's system implemented, although Nash's presence can certainly help direct traffic and explain where guys need to be. It might not take as long as it would with an unfamiliar point guard.
Aside from D'Antoni being a very good coach, I'm for the Lakers pursuing him because it would give them an identity their star players can embody. An identity has been missing so far this season. Not sure how many other available coaches can instill that right away.
What the Lakers tried to do under former coach Mike Brown was install an offense based around off-ball movement and cutting, when the strength of the team was seen in the pick-and-roll game. Something of course that's a strength of D'Antoni's system.
D'Antoni also has a solid relationship with Kobe Bryant, having coached him on Team USA the past six years. He most recently coached the New York Knicks but resigned in March last season over reported issues with star forward Carmelo Anthony.
Prior to New York, D'Antoni coached the Phoenix Suns, famously building the "Seven Seconds Or Less" offense that was one of the most prolific in NBA history, taking the Suns to Western Conference finals appearances in 2005 and 2006. His career record in 10 seasons (Nuggets, Suns and Knicks) is 388-339.
The Lakers fired Mike Brown on Friday, just five games into the season after the team started 1-4. Under interim coach Bernie Bickerstaff, the team has gone 2-0.
Mike D'Antoni hired as coach of the Lakers - CBSSports.com
:laugh :laugh :laugh :laugh :laugh :laugh :laugh :laugh
A league source indicated late Sunday night that Jackson was "stunned" when the Lakers called to inform him they had chosen D'Antoni. He had been prepared to accept the job Monday if negotiations between his agent and the Lakers went well. Jackson's agent Todd Musberger had been scheduled to fly in to Los Angeles on Monday.
Mike D'Antoni hired as next coach of Los Angeles Lakers - ESPN Los Angeles
Let's see hiring a coach whose system depends on speed and athleticism for a team made up of old, slow, breaking down players most of whom are past their prime.
Yeah that's going to work well, wonder if the national media will stop automatically penciling the lakers into the finals now?
"The Lakers announced late Sunday night that they have come to terms with Mike D'Antoni on a four-year deal."
Is this a typo? Shouldn't it be 4 months?
Lakers would have to move some players for D'Antoni to coach how he wants.
Couple of days ago I read where Jackson didn't want to be just an 'employee' of the Lakers --- one of the bargaining chips Jackson wanted was some of the organizational reins that would normally go to GM Mitch Kupchak. Evidently, executive VP Jim Buss didn't want to cash that chip.
Lakers roster will go through many changes after this season.
Clippers i could understand hiring this guy but Lakers can't run the whole season with this roster and have have energy for playoffs.
Doesn't matter that squalid too flawed to do anything in the postseason. Good lucking playing every starter on that team 40+ minutes every game. Too bad won't get to call Jackson a loser now
Coach Mike D'Antoni is a very good coach however, it is going to be a huge change for him to coach the Lakers.
Coach Phil Jackson however would have been the PERFECT fit no matter if wanted the moon. Lakers FO are not understanding how much difficult it is to coach that team now. Might be the Lakers FO biggest mistake this season not to bring Phil back!
We all saw the Knicks run and gun offense resulted in nothing!!!!
There are some similar super stars EGO Maniacs here for D'Antoni too.
Nash was the MVP of the league twice when Coach D'Antoni was in Phnx. But Nash is not as he used to be any more!
Very awkward solution for the Lakers.
Let's see how they can work that out now!
Jackson is a very good coach and has been very successful however, where ever he has been he had the horses to work with. I think he really didn't want to come back with the roster now in LA. Jackson ain't no dummy!!
What tradable assests does LAL have? Metta's expiring contract? Does DAntoni want Diaw or Barbosa back?
Diaw, Blair, Jackson and Neal for Gasol.
Phil Jackson alleges that the Lakers lied to him in negotiations
Phil Jackson alleges that the Lakers lied to him in negotiations | Ball Don't Lie - Yahoo! Sports
You would think if you fire a coach at the very start of the season you'd have someone in the wings who is ready to step in and immediately assume the position rather than sit down and go over the ground work for a new contract. Bottomline: you didn't make the cut, Phil. I'm thinking D'Antoni was their pick from the get go and Buss just wanted to stick it to Jackson, with a big audience. Whose playing the head games now?
lakers are a joke...
Jim Buss has Lakers power, kept it and used it to hire D’Antoni
The idea Phil Jackson was the clear frontrunner for the Lakers head coaching job was not some media creation or fan fiction — everyone around the team said Jackson was the lead candidate.
From the start if felt odd — if you were around and felt the distaste between Jackson and Jim Buss (the guy running the basketball side of Lakers for his father Jerry) it seemed odd they would work together again. Especially after Jackson left and Buss cleaned house and long-time guys like assistant GM Ronnie Lester were let go.
Yet Jackson and Buss met last Saturday and — because Jackson likes to take his time and think over decisions — he asked for time until Monday to go over a final answer and discuss terms. At least that’s what all the parties are saying about compensation. I mean, Jim Buss, Mitch Kupchak and Jackson worked together for most of the dozen years Jackson was with the Lakers, you think there was a ton of things to discuss about how he would coach the team?
You really think there was no discussion of money and what else he would want to return?
Then Jackson got a midnight phone call late Sunday telling him the Lakers were going with Mike D’Antoni.
Why the switch? It’s all a power play by both sides, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.
Jackson wanted to humiliate Lakers vice president Jim Buss far more than he wanted to coach the team. He wanted significant allowances on travel, coaching duties and an ability to veto player personnel moves that didn’t fit his vision. With an unprecedented 11 coaching championships, Jackson had every right to make unprecedented demands. He doesn’t have the right to be surprised when the Lakers rejected them and hired a pliable, cheaper coach in Mike D’Antoni.Jim Buss had the power and wanted to keep it. D’Antoni was his guy. Both sides still deny Jackson’s demands were the issue. Maybe they were, maybe they weren’t.
But another big question remains — why talk to Jackson and let a lot of people know he’s the front runner, why get fans hopes up, if you weren’t going to offer him the job? Buss is smart enough to know the fans wanted Jackson and if he became the clear front-runner anyone else — even a quality coach like D’Antoni — would come off as the consolation prize. Why go down that road?
Kevin Ding at the Orange County Register has a great answer for that in his breakdown of what happened.
The hour and a half at Jackson’s home in Playa del Rey ended with handshakes – but there is evidence to support the belief that it began with the Lakers’ brass never really expecting Jackson to want the job.That seems very plausible.
But it still comes back to the Lakers front office seemed to not have a plan in place from the start, from before they came to the decision to fire Mike Brown. This could all work out — Pat Riley and Paul Westhead both had to take over the Lakers when the season had already started and won titles in their first years as the Lakers head man.
The challenge for D’Antoni is that he is going to have that expectation over his head now — the Lakers fired Mike Brown saying it was all about winning titles, then didn’t hire the coach with 11 rings. For whatever reason.
No pressure, Mike.
Related link: Mike D?Antoni can win big as Lakers coach ? if they defend | ProBasketballTalk
Phil sucks. He wanted the sun and the moon to come back. Didn't he get swept his last playoff series???
Kupchak explains what happened.
Kupchak Addresses Coaching Decision | THE OFFICIAL SITE OF THE LOS ANGELES LAKERS
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