According to ESPN.com former Phoenix Suns and New York Knicks Head Coach Mike D’Antoni has agreed to a four year deal to become the newest Head Coach of the Los Angeles Lakers.
This move comes as a bit of a surprise because as of a couple of hours ago all of the signs were pointing towards The great Phil Jackson returning to coach the Kobe Bryant and the Lakers.
Reportedly the deal with Jackson broke through because Jackson was asking for too much, “the moon”, to return to the team. Jackson was said to be asking for about $12 million per year, more control over the roster, and the OK to take off of some road trips during the season. Jackson retired after the 2011 season due to health reasons.
The Lakers wanted to distance themselves as much as possible from the Jackson era and signed Mike Brown to become the coach. Brown was fired after just five games this season after going 1-4, and 0-9 in the preseason. Brown ran the much scrutinized Princeton offense.
The D’Antoni signing makes sense for one main reason...Steve Nash. D’Antoni was the head coach of the Suns when Nash had his two MVP seasons. Nash is very familiar with D’Antoni’s quick paced up tempo offensive system.
One has to wonder how Kobe Bryant will adjust to any system where he isn't the main focal point. How will he handle Nash controlling the ball and the offense? Although Kobe is supposedly very fond of D'Antoni from their time together in the Olympics. We will most definitely keep an eye out for that situation. Dwight Howard should also relish in this offense, him and Nash should work well in the pick and roll game together.
Defense isn't D’Antoni’s strong point, and the Lakers have struggled defensively so far this season. This is another thing to keep an eye on.
It’ll be interesting to see how Laker Nation reacts to the news of the hiring. Most fans wanted and were expecting Phil Jackson to return as the savior of the franchise. This season has just got even more interesting for the Los Angeles Lakers. We’ll keep watching the soap opera that is the Lakers, and we’ll have fun doing it. Mike D’Antoni is your new Head Coach of the Los Angeles Lakers.