The Los Angeles Lakers surprised everyone today by hiring former Phoenix Suns and New York Knicks head coach Mike D’Antoni to take over the position, instead of former Lakers and Bulls great, Phil Jackson. Jackson was widely assumed to be the frontrunner. D’antoni is a good coach, who will be better than Mike Brown and will definitely get their offense going and will actually utilize Steve Nash, but this is Phil Jackson we are talking about.
The Lakers do not need a fast paced offense as they have Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol who he can run plays through and their defense will suffer under Mike D’Antoni. What is the point of having Dwight Howard, Kobe Bryant and Metta World Peace, who are all fantastic defenders and having a coach who has never preached defense. The team would be best in a controlled, triangle offense, where they have had huge success in the past. The simple truth is that Phil Jackson is the far better coach, with 11 rings, where D’Antoni teams have always struggled when it matters.
The Lakers made a very bad choice, their offense should not be running all out, they should have Steve Nash setting up Howard down low, Gasol up high and Bryant out on the perimeter, while getting easy baskets himself. It just seems odd to have a team with the league’s top defender, hire a coach who does not care about defense and bring in a coach who likes to play fast, coach one of the league’s oldest rosters. The Lakers do not need a new identity, they need order, which Jackson would have brought. They made a bad call on a choice that seemed simple, which was to bring in the greatest coach of all-time or a good one, who has never won. Shocking error by the Los Angeles Lakers.