The Lakers’ Soap Opera

When we kept on about the fact that Mike Brown is a horrible basketball coach, we never thought that our counsel would be taken to heart so fast and that Brown would be shown the door so soon. But the soap opera that ensued after his firing has been laughable.

News sources have said that Mike D’Antoni was management’s first choice from the beginning and that it came as a surprise that Phil Jackson would have interest in returning to the Lakers. What? Do these people (most noticeably the heir-perspirant Jimmy Boy) live in a vacuum? Anybody with any brain matter who follows the NBA and has any understanding of human nature would have known that Phil would have jumped at the chance to come back. After his time off and medical procedures he is in better physical and mental shape than he has been in years, and it was also well known that he would have taken the Knicks job under the right circumstances. So to think that he was not more than interested was a faux paux extraordinaire’.

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But, maybe D’Antoni was the better choice after all. In the best case scenario, how long would Phil have stayed this time? He has retired three times, twice from the Lakers. Best case, he would have stayed this season and next. But no longer. Then, the team would be in the same boat – looking again to rebuild with a new system, and an even older, and maybe retiring, Kobe. Is the potential of a couple of promising years worth having to once again re-hash all of this again, so soon?

In P.R., the team gets a big, fat F. And a now pissed off Phil Jackson just may lend, in some form or another, his expertise to some other team, that in a key playoff game here or there against the Lakers, may make a difference.

D’Antoni, if he is the solution, is more of a long-term solution than Phil would have been, though he is only six years younger than the 67-year-old Jackson. Assuming he is the solution, then D’Antoni figures to be the Lakers’ coach for six years, eight years, or perhaps longer, lending stability to a team that is actually now in its fourth total system changeover in only seven years (Jackson > Tomjanovich > Jackson > Brown > D’Antoni).

But what is D’Antoni’s system? Any fans of Pail Westhead here? Remember those years? Well, get ready to re-live them. Run, shoot, run, shoot. Defense? Naw. In a way, it fits the Lakers personal, in that this team does not have any team defensive ability, or desire. Conversely, though, do they have the right personnel for this type of offense? With an aging Kobe and no NBA-caliber back-up two guard, and with a 38-year-old Steve Nash coming back, at some point, from a broken bone in his leg, being the keys, along with Deeee-Wight’s rebounding, I dunno. Now if they had some young, speedy, sharpshooting guns around them, maybe. Pau Gasol might keep up for 20 minutes a game. That psycho artest meta tag thing can’t shoot anywhere close to good enough for this system. Antawn Jamison is through, and I doubt will last a month in D’Antoni’s system. The only hope for the shooting part of the system to work with this team, is if somehow Devin Ebanks and Darious Morris become NBA players overnight and add the depth and scoring that they system, and the team, requires.

Firing Brown and hiring D’Antoni are major steps in the right direction, but until the Lakers have more than a six or seven man team, and fill out the roster with actual professional basketball players, the team will be exciting and interesting, and will be losing by much higher scores.

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