After a weekend replete with pandemonium following former Los Angeles Lakers head coach Mike Brown’s ousting, complete with two days of Phil Jackson rumors, crowd chants and speculation, we have a resolution.
The LA Lakers have hired Mike D’Antoni, the mastermind of the 7-Seconds or Less offense.
All-Star power forward Pau Gasol welcomed D’Antoni to the team on Twitter.
Gasol wasn’t the only Laker to welcome their new coach, backup point guard Steve Blake was just as cordial.
After all of the anonymous “team sources” that cited that the job was Phil Jackson’s to take or turn down, it seems rather curious how things actually turned out.
Conflicting reports had Jackson depicted as either being overly demanding or willing to do whatever was necessary to coach and win.
Ultimately, might it be possible that D’Antoni was the guy that GM Mitch Kupchak and the Lakers wanted all along? Perhaps their initial interest in Jackson was only a feint to appease their championship hungry fan base. Either way you look at it, the spin machine has definitely been at work with the media, sending all sorts of mixed signals.
In a very brief statement to Yahoo! NBA writer Marc Spears, Kobe Bryant seemed okay with the hiring.
Bryant echoed this sentiment to ESPN, “I love PJ but I’m very excited about D’Antoni.”
Ken Berger of CBS Sports, among others, is reporting that D’Antoni is expected to reach out to fellow Team USA assistant Nate McMillan as his defensive assistant.
While it is far too soon to speculate whether they will become the championship caliber team everyone thought they should be at the onset of the season, at a minimum, they should be entertaining to watch with D’Antoni’s offensive system in place.