Mike D'Antoni To The Lakers: The Return Of The Pringles Man

Monday morning, the Los Angeles Lakers shied away from 11-time world champion Phil Jackson and plucked Mike D'Antoni to be their next coach.

Um, what?

Darius Soriano of, 'Forum Blue and Gold,' gave his reaction last night.

My initial take is twofold: first, I’m a bit disappointed that Phil isn’t the guy. I’ve long respected him and thought he’d have been a great fit with this roster, even though there would have been some things to work out in maximizing all the players — especially Steve Nash. But if there were holdups in terms of his desires outside of simply coaching the team, I can see how those might have interfered with him getting this job.

Second, I like Mike D’Antoni for this job. I think he’ll be great for the Lakers guards and can get a lot out of their big men in a variety of ways. There are questions about his defensive chops but he had the Knicks in the top 10 of defensive efficiency when he was let go from that job last year.

Reports say that Jackson was 'stunned' to be left out in the cold, and now he joins the rest of the free world in our puzzlement.

In the last 20 NBA seasons, the 'Zen Master' has collected a ring more often than not. D'Antoni on the other hand, resigned after a laughable tenure in New York. His style of play has faded to the background after seeming to be the, 'next big thing.' Perhaps the move for D'Antoni was as much about the roster and the future. Maybe the Lakers were against the prospect of a coach who would only travel with the team sometimes.

It's possible that the inclusion of Steve Nash changed the Lakers' approach. If Nash embraces the move and becomes the player of D'Antoni's days in Phoenix, the Lakers will improve. At this point, could they get any worse?

Fun fact: When Jackson was in the midst of a three-peat in 2001-2002, D'Antoni coached Benetton Treviso.

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