When the Los Angeles Lakers declared Mike D’ Antoni as their new head coach, everybody was surprised. Even Mike was shocked that the Lakers opted to sign him instead of NBAs winningest coach, Phil Jackson.
The Lakers organization had tried everything to lure Phil to another championship run, but his demands were too much, that they gave Mike the coaching job.
Kobe Bryant wasn’t surprised on the organization’s move. He knew from a dismal start; the Lakers had to go to the most-used word in the league… change.
They got Steve Nash and Dwight Howard─ The perfect formula in winning a championship, and yet they were still winless on the preseason and had a 1-4 start.
Kobe love Mike D’ Antoni even way back while he was still in Italy and wore his jersey number eight in honor of him.
Six years ago, Mike’s Phoenix Suns became the eight team to come back after a 3-1 deficit. Kobe remembered how his team faltered towards the end line against the offensive minded Suns. D’Antoni had an unconventional way on offense; it was more like a fast ball in baseball, were the batters fail to react on time. It was called the seven-second offense, where the team will have to execute their plays under seven seconds.
For some time D’ Antoni’s offense was successful; however, it wasn’t enough to win championships. The Phoenix Suns never got to the NBA finals that year, but they have gained the respect from Kobe.
Mike’s Lakers is a whole lot different from the Suns or even the New York Knicks. He got a championship team, from Dwight Howard all the way to Steve Nash and Kobe Bryant. Execution and the one thing that was missing on Mike’s play book… defense, will win them games. That is why D’ Antoni knew the things he had to improve this time. The only difference is he has a very slim margin of error. He knew if his system doesn’t work, he might be looking for another coaching job long before this year ends.
From Princeton, down to the seven-second offense, the Lakers have one main goal this season. Winning back the championship is all that matters. From Kobe to Dwight to Steve Nash, time is slowly running out. Mike D’ Antoni has a big role to fill in.
The Lakers intend to play until June, with or without Mike.