Golden State is up
Golden State is up
Politics notwithstanding Shaw would seem to be the best candidate IMO.
Apparently Phil Jackson is asking for travel restrictions so he only has to attend a limited amount of road games if he returns to the Lakers. How does something like that work with a head coach? Does he Skype in?
"I WANT YOU GUYS TO GIVE 110% TONIGHT," said Coach Jackson from his ranch in Montana.
All hope for the Lakers winning a championship is now dead.
D'Antoni appears to be the guy
Phil Demanding 10 million a year, relaxed travel schedule, and greater control probably was more then the Lakers were willing to give. I personally like it though, the personnel on the Lakers is a better fit for D'Antoni then Phil. Plus the Lakers have been boring to watch and now they wont be.
I think D'Antoni is the wrong call. He hasn't shown that his game plan can succeed, even when he had the perfect personnel. I think this roster doesn't suit his running offense. Buss Jr is grasping at straws, trying to undo his previous mistake by bringing in his opposite.
I could never imagine myself saying, or even thinking this. I might have to start rooting for the Lakers now. No I'm not gonna go buy a Kobe jersey but with Nash and D'Antoni there and with the Suns sucking again, I think I would actually like to see the Lakers do well. I know for sure I'd root for them to beat the Spurs at least.
This is giving me a bit of an existential crisis.
You have been disparaging D'Antoni since he left the Suns. Why are you suddenly going to be rooting for him now?
I have not. I have criticized him here and there when he deserved it. But I like the guy.
Well, this ought to be interesting.
I wasn't sad at all when PHX let him go. Likeable guy? Sure. I just never liked his whole "defense isn't a priority" coaching style.
I never said defensive minded, just putting a bigger emphasis on it. Right now reports are he is going try and get Nate McMillan to come in as defensive coordinator but I wouldn't put any faith into those reports until it actually happens. I mean all the reports were of Phil being the coach so who know what to believe anymore.
I'm not sure if this Lakers squad can play at an up and down tempo. The pick and roll with Nash-Pau/Dwight should boost the offense. I think it's ultimately going to come down with Kobe's willingness to defer the bulk of the load. It'd be smart of him to do, take it easy, pick his spots, stay healthy and takeover in the post season. We'll see.
LOL @ anybody using Antoni and defense in the same sentence.
Tom and Wes, together -- forever.
Did D'Antoni's people start false rumors that led to the Lakers choosing him over Phil Jackson? Jackson's agent seems to think so...
How Phil Jackson’s Handshake Deal With The Lakers Fell Apart
I'm not sure we're far enough removed to appreciate what an incredible story this is in the annals of sports: The Lakers turned down Phil Jackson. Someday they'll write a book or make a 30 for 30 about this, and we'll get all the details, but for now we just have to piece together what we know—and that includes, perhaps, allegations that the Mike D'Antoni camp planted false rumors about Jackson's demands.
Phil was the guy from the start of negotiations. He's Phil Jackson, for god's sake—he's got five rings with the Lakers, and more importantly than any of those, he's got Kobe Bryant's respect. Conventional wisdom was that it was Jackson's job to take, and only the requirements of his contract would have to be worked out. One of those stumbling blocks, we were led to believe, was Jackson's desire to skip a number of road trips.
Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak went to Jackson's house on Saturday to hammer out the details. No official offer was made, but Jackson was under the impression that they had shaken on it, and he would give them his decision on Monday. He never got the chance. According to the L.A. Times,
On Sunday, a person familiar with the situation, speaking anonymously because the deal wasn't complete, said the Lakers were 95% certain Jackson was their choice. By game time, the certainty had dropped to 70%, and the rest quickly disappeared in the next few hours.
Around midnight, the Lakers called Mike D'Antoni to let him know he was their guy. He was as shocked as anyone. Yesterday morning, he told the New York Daily News that he believed that Jackson was a lock to return to Los Angeles.
"Sure I did," he said. "For sure I did. Didn't everybody? When I got the call that it was me, my first reaction was, ‘Are you serious?' "
Jackson got his own call not long after. He's 67, and his age and physical limitations were apparently a concern for the Lakers, so it may have convinced them they made the right choice when it turned out Jackson was asleep when they called. They told him they had gone with D'Antoni, wished him luck, and foreclosed on the off-and-on Phil Jackson era in Los Angeles—Judging from the hard feelings, there's no way the revisit the possibility in a couple of years.
Reportedly, Kupchak told him that he, and both Busses believed that D'Antoni was the best coach for the job. Jackson, ever sarcastic, replied, "I don't. But OK."
Jackson said the wake-up call was "slimy." His agent was even more frank:
Phil's agent, Todd Musburger tells ESPNLA: "Don't say you've got until Monday, then roust him at midnight to say, We hired somebody else.'
Musberger gave the Times even more, blasting what he called false reports of Jackson's demands for front office power and limited travel. He laid the blame for those rumors at the feet of the Lakers, or more intriguingly, on Mike D'Antoni's people.
"No discussion of those ideas being contractual terms or demands was ever made. They had a full discussion of the club, the roster, the schedule, assistants, etc. But to allow someone either on their side or on D'Antoni's side to make these allegations — unsubstantiated and incorrect — and incorrectly maligning Phil is so objectionable to us that the process would have concluded this way."
Well now, this is a new wrinkle. If it was the Lakers planting false info, it was surely done to drive down his contract demands—reports had Jackson wanting as much as $15 million a year, though again, those reports may have been leaked by the Lakers. But if it was the D'Antoni braintrust dropping the rumors, what was the point? The Lakers would have realized it wasn't true when they negotiated with Jackson. What does D'Antoni have to gain by winning over a sliver of the public opinion?
Unless of course Jackson's reported demands were accurate, and he's now trying to cover his ass.
The actual reasons the Lakers chose D'Antoni over Jackson may be the least interesting aspect of this story—if they're basketball-related. (Jim Buss plain doesn't like Phil Jackson, and the feeling's mutual. I wouldn't be surprised if the whole ordeal was a pair of power plays writ large.)
Steve Nash and Dwight Howard are made for D'Antoni's pick and roll. Jackson's triangle is a first cousin of, and just as complicated as, the Princeton Offense that the Lakers were so inept at running that it cost Mike Brown his job. If Kobe doesn't get the iso-heavy sets he loves, at least he gets a coach he idolized as a kid. Howard, a free agent at the end of the season, gets a player-friendly coach and one whose offense is sure to pad his stats.
The rest of us? We get the return of the Showtime Lakers, and a furious Phil Jackson stewing at his Montana lake house, wondering what he can do to get back at L.A. This one's far from over.
The best thing to come of all this is Phil Jackson's private humiliation.
Quality win from start to finish. Go Clips.
My fiancee got the hookup with a free pair of corporate seats for last night's Nets game against the Celtics. We were damn close to the action during a pretty thrilling win, and we also got free food from any of the Brooklyn-friendly food vendors throughout Barclays Center. Had a Cuban sandwich, a brisket banger and split a piece of cheesecake from Junior's. A much more agreeable visit than when we went a few games ago and saw the Nets tank in the second half against the Timberwolves.
On Sunday, I'll be seeing my first Knicks home game of the season when they host the Pacers. I'd love it if they came into the game 7-0 on the season, but they've got their work cut out for them in Memphis tonight.