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SHOWTIME BACK AT STAPLES?
Gary Norris Gray BASN Staff Reporter
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA (BASN)—The Los Angeles Lakers made a stunning announcement Monday Morning. They hired head coach Mike D’Antoni to guide the purple and gold for the 2012-13 basketball season. Assistant Coach Bernie Bickerstaff lost his first game Tuesday night against the San Antonio Spurs 94-92. The Lakers have played much better since the departure of Mike Brown on Sunday night November 11. The Los Angeles Lakers have won the last five of six games But there are still issues at Staples Center.
The Los Angeles Lakers think they are going back to Showtime. Not so fast my friend. Questions need to be answered and will be answered as the season progresses. What is the one thing coach Mike D’Antoni never teaches his players? That’s right, it’s a little thing called DEFENSE and defense wins championships, defense keeps you in tight games in the fourth quarter and defense puts banners in the rafters. Just ask the Phoenix Suns and the New York Knicks about the last ten years under the guidance of head coach Mike D’Antoni.
This man quit on the New York Knicks after star guard Jeremy Lin went down with a leg injury. The Knicks won 7 of 8 games and D’Antoni showed dis-interest after the loss of Lin. The Lakers need to ask themselves do they want a quitter on the bench in Hollywood.
This time I agreed with ESPN’s broadcaster screaming Steven A Smith because this is so obvious. The Lakers are getting old and the Lakers are not playing defense. Not counting the first three games and that’s what got them into trouble in the first place. How are these old men going to run up and down the floor at the end of the season or in the playoffs under D’Antoni’s offensive post up style?
Their star guard will be out a few more games and the current question is who will be at point guard for the Lakers while Steve Nash Rehabs. It seems like Steve Blake is the current answer but he is not feeling well.
Next question, was the D’Antoni hire smoothing out Steve Nash’s transfer from Phoenix to Los Angeles. Kobe Bryant has to be happy with the Lakers new hire because two years ago he was not consulted on their hiring of Mike Brown.
D’Antoni loves the pick and roll offense and the question should be asked do they have the players on the floor in Los Angeles to perform this style. Gasol and Howard do not like this offense. Antwain Jamison fits this high post offense perfectly but you have to have a great point guard to distribute the ball. Nash is too old; Kobe is a shooter so that leaves Blake, Duhon, and Morris to pass the ball. This is not a good fit and the Lakers know it.
Former Los Angeles Laker and Hall of Fame Point Guard Magic Johnson stated that Mike Brown could not adjust to the game within the game. Mr. Johnson, FYI, acquiring a sixth sense comes through many years of coaching. The Zen Master (Phil Jackson) did not become the Zen Master overnight.
Johnson didn’t pull any punches in critiquing the now-unemployed Brown. Johnson was able to pinpoint the fatal flaw that got Brown fired in Cleveland and Los Angeles. “Mike Brown has one big flaw in his coaching: he does not make adjustments in game. That’s what killed him in Cleveland, and that’s what killed him with the Lakers,” said Johnson. “If you go back to every series that the Cleveland Cavaliers lost, and every series that the Lakers lost, Mike Brown did not make adjustments within the game. … That’s his biggest flaw. It’s not preparation. It’s not his defense, before the game and getting a game plan together. It’s within the game.”
The Los Angeles Lakers will win 50 plus games this year because of their veterans. These five men knew how to win with Brown or without Brown. These same five men will win 50 plus games with or without D’Antoni. Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Dwight Howard, Matta WorldPeace, and Steve Nash will be going to the playoffs this year. Will they win the Western Conference Finals and NBA Finals? Only time can determine that.
Mike D’Antoni already has a track record with the New York Knicks and Phoenix Suns and each team they were at the bottom of the league in defense. Neither team played in the Finals.
Look, let’s be real, Kobe Bryant wanted Mike Brown out because he was teaching them new defensive skills and the Princeton hybrid offense. Defense is work.
Mr. Kobe Bean Bryant got his wish … but as I have been saying for years you win championships with defense..
Mike Brown tried to teach LeBron James defense but he was not interested and wanted to be on ESPN with highlight dunks. One year later LeBron James learned how to play defense in Miami and got his championship ring.
Yes, The Laker Show Time will return to the Staples Center but at what cost. Come crunch time DEFENSE gets you the ring… D’Antoni teams have ranked 27th, 28th, and 29th on defense year after year with the Suns. The Suns could not win the Western Title…HMMMMM I wonder why? Moving on to the New York Knicks, Mike did not change his style and my beloved Knicks suffered through another 4 years of no defense and only one playoff win…?
The Lakers will learn the hard way. Egos might have gotten in the way with the new ownership. The younger Jim Buss made the wrong decision this time. Magic Johnson ran Paul Westhead out of The Great Western Form years ago, under the same circumstances. Westhead never coached in the NBA again while Magic went to the Finals.
This is just another example of executive BLACK on BLACK crime of not helping each other. If you don’t have anything positive to say about the person, don’t say anything at all. Once again, it’s a brother breaking down another brother for no reason. Another Black man undermined by his peers and his players.
What has our 44th President of the United States taught us?
I’ve lost respect for Magic Johnson (corporate man) for what he said and how he said it. Johnson was a coach for a few weeks so he should know better.. Also it takes time to be great coach in the National Basketball League Phil Jackson did not become the Zen Master over night DID HE?
NEXT BLACK COACHES IN NBA
Gary Norris Gray – Writer, Author, Historian. Gibbs Magazine-Oakland, California and New England Informer- Boston Mass. THE GRAYLINE:- The Analects of A Black Disabled Man, The Gray Leopard Cove on Blogtalkradio.com Disabled Community Activist. Email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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