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Phil Jackson Would Have Been Great But Mike D’Antoni Is A Solid Choice- Bruce’s Thought Of The Day

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First a few words on the Lakers apparent tactics in courting Phil Jackson: Lame, weak, and disrespectful.

Now a few words on Phil Jackson’s dealing with the Lakers: looks like you may have priced yourself out of a job.

The truth will be known at some point as the accusations start to fly. Did Jackson ask for too much? Did the Lakers tell the 11 time world champion coach he had until Monday to decide if he wanted to make another comeback? If so, dirty dealing is at hand by the Lakers. The truth will eventually be known.

The loser may turn out to be the winner and that is the new head coach Mike D’Antoni. I am guessing D’Antoni and his people sold the Lakers hard thinking a re-unification with Steve Nash would work for all. Did Nash pull a power play? Did D’Antoni’s people leak false allegations of what Phil’s demands were if any were made? Lots of questions and lots of “journalists” trying to get the “scoop.”

Watch out for what is reported when you have this setup going. I do know this: Jackson is the greatest coach of all time and has the hardware to prove it. But D’Antoni is no slouch. The rap that he doesn’t coach or care about defense is a bum rap.

D’Antoni did a great job of reviving a Suns franchise and twice getting them to the verge of the NBA finals. The first time he was beaten by the Spurs after two of his best big men, Amar’e Stoudemire and Boris Diaw, were suspended one game by the NBA for coming off the bench during a dust up. That game was game seven. The Spurs won and the Suns went home.

The second time it took a tremendous shot by the then Ron Artest, now Metta World Peace, to beat the Suns is a great game seven. D’Antoni, along with Donnie Walsh did a great job getting the Knicks out of cap hell and getting them turned around. In fact the Knicks were playing great ball up until they acquired Carmelo Anthony who stabbed D’Antoni in the back and basically quit on him. Melo even went so far as changing plays that were called.

Is D’Antoni some NBA George Patton in terms of defense? No! Is he totally negligent of it? Not at all. The Suns and Knicks were badly outsized yet played hard, played well, and played exciting basketball.

Now D’Antoni has a great center in Dwight Howard and also has the defensive minded World Peace and the prideful Kobe Bryant to buckle down on D. Their defense will be fine. D’Antoni’s pick and roll will be great for Pau Gasol and Howard and Steve Nash. In some ways this current roster of Lakers might be better playing D’Antoni ball then the triangle that Jackson employs. Time will tell if the Lakers made the right choice.They rarely make the wrong choice.

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