Mike D’Antoni Is The Wrong Man For The Lakers [NoeBrainer]
The Los Angeles Lakers pulled a shocker by naming Mike D’Antoni their new head coach. D’Antoni was stunned himself.
Mike D’Antoni signed a 3-year deal worth $12 million on Monday to be the new head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers. The deal includes a team option for a fourth year. The Lakers reportedly had a handshake deal with Phil Jackson. He supposedly had first dibs on accepting the job. That’s not exactly the way everything played out. The Lakers instead offered the job to D’Antoni.
Mike D’Antoni told the New York Daily News’ Mike Lupica that he was so surprised about being offered the job over the phone that he responded by saying, “Are you serious?” Even the guy that was hired was actually shocked that he got the gig.
Mike D’Antoni had good regular-season success in Phoenix. In four full seasons between 2004-05 and 2007-08, the Suns won over 50 games each season. The Suns also won over 60 games twice during that span. However, D’Antoni has never won a championship and he’s never even coached a team in the NBA Finals. D’Antoni does not emphasize defense. A lack of defense has been a major weak spot with his teams.
Beyond D’Antoni’s shaky coaching style, you should consider the position that this coaching search puts Mike D’Antoni in. Anytime the Lakers drop a couple of games in a row -- “coulda had Phil.” Anytime the Lakers are struggling in a playoff series -- “coulda had Phil.” Anytime the Lakers lose a playoff series -- “coulda had Phil.” The shadow of Phil Jackson puts Mike D’Antoni in a tough position. Phil Jackson should be coaching the Los Angeles Lakers today, not Mike D’Antoni.
Brian Noe is the Brand Manager at 104.5 The Team, ESPN Radio in Albany, NY. Brian also hosts “The Noe Show” weekdays from 1-3 pm ET on WTMM.