When the news of Mike Brown’s firing broke on Friday, there were two names immediately rumored to be his successor, both with ties to the New York Knicks- Mike D’Antoni and Phil Jackson.
Well, D’Antoni hasn’t been contacted by the Lakers and likely won’t as its not big secret that this job is Jackson’s if he wants it and he likely will.
A team with four All-Star’s in the starting lineup, well that’s Jackson’s type of gig, one that he certainly would jump at the chance to coach.
But how would D’Antoni likely fare in Los Angeles with his up-tempo attack?
D’Antoni wouldn’t be available to coach for another 10 days to two weeks because of his knee replacement surgery.
But I don’t think he would be a great fit to begin with.
Sure the Lakers have had their “Showtime,” era before, but asking this current Lakers team to play a lot of run-and-gun would be asking a lot.
Kobe Bryant, while you can’t doubt what he is still capable of, is 34 and in his 17th year in the league and the up-and-down pace throughout the course of a full season may not suit him well anymore.
He would have a point guard in Steve Nash who excelled in D’Antoni’s system and a big guy like Pau Gasol who runs the floor as well as any big man in the game, but the mystery is Dwight Howard.
If any coach in the NBA could make Howard less of a factor defensively it is D’Antoni, but he did have 2012 Defensive Player of the Year Tyson Chandler for half a season last year.
But Howard already cost one coach his job (Stan Van Gundy), so I don’t know if that’s a situation D’Antoni would even want to put himself in to begin with. He already went through a similar situation with Carmelo Anthony, he would be foolish to go through that again.
The Lakers are built to win right now. There’s not much young talent to get excited about for the future and while they have a great starting five, their depth isn’t great.
D’Antoni’s system would take some time to perfect and while the Lakers have the talent to do exactly that, it is doubtful they win a title with that system this year.
The team that the Lakers share the Staples Center with might be a better fit for D’Antoni, if the Clippers eventually decide to part ways with Vinny Del Negro.
But this Lakers team wasn’t assembled for D’Antoni or Brown, from the beginning it was assembled to lure Jackson back and that strategy looks like it worked.
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