My opinion of who should be coaching the Lakers is officially irrelevant. Not that it ever mattered much anyway but as of today it is all a moot point. Mike D’Antoni conducted his first practice as head coach of the Lake Show and held his first press conference as well.
He’s official now. The Mike D’Antoni era has begun. Here’s hoping the results match the talk. We know what this job is all about. One thing and one thing only. Actually, that’s not even accurate. This is about more than one thing. We talk in plural around here. That’s what’s expected.
For D’Antoni’s sake he’d better hope his reign lasts longer than that of Rudy Tomjanovich, Mike Brown and anyone else not named PJ who has coached here in the last two decades.
D’Antoni can talk defense but he has to deliver on it. He knows his promise of more points isn’t going to be enough. Showtime wasn’t just about scoring points. Save the entertainment for Vegas shows. This is Los Angeles not Hollywood. Give us a quality product but make sure it’s the best possible on the market.
For Jim Buss this represents his first and hopefully only use of the Reset button. Brown was a bad idea from the start. This one doesn’t feel all that much more inspired but desperate is as desperate does.
Mike D’Antoni doesn’t represent a return to Showtime. Let’s make that clear from the jump.
There already is and will be plenty more of that talk but it’s all unwarranted. Showtime isn’t just run and gun ball. Showtime was a philosophy as much as the Triangle was. It was the ideal of maximizing what everyone did best on the floor while playing as a team and above all else doing whatever it took to win at the highest level.
That’s not opinion. That’s fact.
Showtime isn’t scoring. It’s winning.
Here comes my opinion on the matter.
I don’t doubt D’Antoni will make this team one of the top 5 in the league. But that’s not going to be good enough. He’ll get points on the board. He’ll get those highlights the video gamers are waiting for. He’ll also get a heavy dose of reality.
D’Antoni knows pressure. Unlike Brown, D’Antoni was battle tested in NYC. Too bad he crumbled under the weight of those expectations and that was just to make the playoffs and be respectable.
Again this is about winning. Nothing else matters. Don’t care how you reach the finish line just get there first. That’s not what we ask but what we demand.
And with that, welcome to L.A. Coach D’Antoni. Enjoy your stay.