The Lakers didn’t give this poor guy a chance. Brown’s a good coach and a nice guy who took Le Bron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers to the NBA Finals in 2007. He won three straight Central Division titles and never finished lower than second in his six years in Cleveland. In Brown’s first season with the Lakers there was a lockout and he still had a good playoff run. Now they get rid of the guy after just five games into the 2012-13 season? Worse than that is when they let Brown go there was no immediate plan on who to hire. Top 5 could have applied and possibly be interviewed for the job.
It seemed like all hell broke loose in early November when the Los Angeles Lakers fired Coach Mike Brown just five games into the season. The Lakers were off to one of their worst starts in 20 years at 1-4, one of the team’s prized free agents, guard Steve Nash was injured, its other prized free agent Dwight Howard was coming off of a serious back injury and not 100 percent, and the rest of the team could hit the side of a barn. So quite naturally fans and the organization were panicking and someone had to pay. Just a few days before word out of the public relations department was that Brown’s job was safe. And if you know anything about sports, whenever an organization comes out publically in support of a coach, he might as well pack his bags.
D’Antoni costs less than Phil. Word on at Staples Center and the internet is that Jackson was not only asking for an eight figure salary, but a contract that was full of stipulations that included coaching only home games and leaving at halftime or the third quarter if he had a dinner date with the boss’ sister Jeanie Buss. All D’Antoni wants is a place in Manhattan Beach and a livable salary that’ll be enough to pay for the new California taxes recently approved by voters.
D’Antoni will get along with the L.A. celebs and cater to the media circus. Expect regular appearances on Kimmel and Leno. Famed Los Angeles Times columnist Bill Plaschke will write tons of slobbering pieces on him and his family, and his life as an Italian American. Infamous Times columnist T.J. Simers will write stories on how the underachieving D’Antoni can’t win with this team of underachieving, overpaid simpletons.
Kobe idolized D’Antoni growing up as a shooting guard playing professional ball in Italy, meaning they both speak Italian. Sounds like a win-win. Soon they’ll have the entire team speaking Italian. That will work well when they travel to places like San Antonio, Atlanta and Indianapolis.
D’Antoni is a player’s coach on a particularly egocentric team who has a great relationship with Steve Nash already established. In New York he had to deal with Carmelo Anthony, which is no small challenge. Plus, the Lakers have gotten rid of one of the team’s biggest headaches in Andrew Bynum. It should be smooth sailing for everyone involved.
Jim Buss’s ego is even bigger than that of his players and he needed to put his stamp on the team as it being his and not daddy’s anymore. If he wins with D’Antoni, it is his move and his team. If he won with Jackson, he would still walk in the shadow of daddy.