Sports Opinion & Analysis

Thy Former Enemy

In NBA on November 9, 2012 at 10:22 am

By Jonathan Danielson

UPDATE: As of 30 seconds after I published this article, the Lakers fired coach Mike Brown. 

As a certified Laker Hater, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t really enjoying how horrible the Lakers are so far. They aren’t just losing games, they’re losing them in an embarrassingly bad way, and to be totally honest, nothing is more awesome.

“We suuuuuuuuck.”

But, like the internet boom and the housing market, I know all bubbles one day burst, and sooner or later the Lakers we expected, the one with all that future Hall of Fame talent, is going to start playing like it. And when they do, it’s not going to be awesome for anyone not rooting for purple and gold.

In the offseason, I suggested that if the Lakers wanted to compete in 2012, then they needed to trade Kobe Bryant. Instead, they picked up Steve Nash, Dwight Howard and Antawn Jamison. Unfortunately, they might as well have seen what Worthy, Magic, and Shaq were up to, because the old guys would have been just as effective as the new guys with Mike Brown in charge.

“That’s because I was able to hide behind LeBron’s talent, and in actuality, I suck at coaching. Next question.”

The Lakers will not win with Mike Brown. They simply won’t, no matter how hard they try, and they have proven it with a 1-and-4 start.

If the Lakers want to win (and with all that talent, there is no reason to suspect otherwise), they need to fire Brown. I feel bad for the guy, because in the end he will go down as the coach who couldn’t succeed with two of the greatest athletes ever to play the game on his rosters, but them’s the breaks. In L.A. it’s either put up or shut up, and if you can’t get the job done, someone else can.

In his place, the Lakers need to hire their former nemesis (circa 2006 and 2007), Mike D’Antoni.

I want to write something funny, but nothing is funnier than scrolling through the Google results for “Mike+D’Antoni+Images

Think about it. Laker Steve Nash would play the role of Suns Steve Nash, while Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard would play the role of Amar’e Stoudemire (only with shooting range and defense). Kobe Bryant would more or less would be the Suns version of Shawn Marion, the go-to scorer and “defensive” (term used loosely for the Suns) specialist. Metta World Peace would be an insane version of Raja Bell.

It would be “Showtime” meeting “Seven Seconds Or Less.” It quite possibly might be the greatest offense ever to step foot on a basketball court. You give Nash, once he returns from a fractured fibula,  a fast break, pick-and-roll offense which spreads the floor and gives Kobe room to work.

I know a lot of naysayers will bring up D’Antoni’s lack of defensive structure, and trouble in New York, where Carmelo Anthony basically ran him out-of-town, as reason not to hire the guy, but the beauty of D’Antoni coming aboard the Lakers with its current roster is that the Lakers already know how to play defense. When D’Antoni took over for a fired Frank Johnson in Phoenix, he took over a team that already didn’t play D, and didn’t have any players who could or knew how. It was like the team had nothing to fall back on, besides D’Antoni’s high scoring, fast paced attack, when the ball wasn’t in their hands.

The Lakers though (Dwight, Metta, Jamison, Kobe and everyone else) all know how to play defense, and are pretty darn effective at it. While running a fast paced, pick-and-roll set, the players would naturally resort back to their tendencies when they needed to stop the run. It would work, and unless Phil Jackson has suddenly decided to come down the hill and coach again, it’s really the only option the Lakers have if they don’t want to become the biggest flop and let down in the history of the NBA.

And while nothing would disgust me more, if the Lakers want to avoid that, it’s time to give Mike D a call.

  1. Hate to see it. But it would be a good move for the Lakers. Really who else could do it, besides Phil. I wonder if there were other problems besides a poor start. i mean they’ve played 5 games, come on!

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