Did Magic Johnson Throw Jim Buss Under The Bus? - Kobe Calls D'Antoni An Offensive Genius
Posted by: JamFan on 11/12/2012 - 10:29 AM
aka Don Allen
Last Night after the Clipper telecast on ESPN, where the Clippers beat the Miami Heat 107-100, there was a roundtable discussion where Magic Johnson was commenting about his disappointment that the Lakers did not hire Phil Jackson as the head coach. He went on to say that he loves Dr Buss, but does not believe in Jim Buss. He repeated it twice for emphasis. He said that Jim Buss has now made two critical mistatkes. Magic didn't seem to think that Coach Brown was the right coach in the first place, and went on to say that D'Antoni was not the right coach for the Lakers either. Magic had also tweeted that the reason he hasn't tweeted in two days was because he was in mourning that the Lakers did not hire Jackson.
Magic is not the only person to question the management skills of Jim Buss. Other commentators around the country are wondering if he is in over his head. He quickly hired Brown reportedly without consulting his star Kobe Bryant and many wondered why. Then 5 days into the season he fires Brown thereby giving him an 11 million dollar paid vacation. Then he hires D'Antoni over the greatest coach of all time. All of this leaves many wondering about the quality of the decisions that Jim Buss makes. Coach D'Antoni has never won anything and all you have to do is go and read everything that happened in New York where D'Antoni resigned after two disappointing seasons.
When Magic speaks, people listen. Especially the Laker Nation. Unfortunately, Mike D'Antoni and Jim Buss are going to be under a microscope. If this coaching decision blows up in Jim's face, then what happens? Stay tuned.
So Jim Buss hires Mike D'Antoni after reportedly telling Phil Jackson to let him know if he wants the job and to think about it over the weekend.
The fans were surprised.
The players were surprised.
The sportswriters were surprised.
Phil Jackson was surprised.
But you know you have a small PR problem when the head coach you just hired is also surpirsed.
Just yesterday, one of ESPN's top radio show announcers spent a lot of time trying to find out how many ways he could characterize what the Lakers did to Phil Jackson as "Slimy." However, as fans, it is time to just get over it. Wishing for PJ isn't going to change anything at this point. We need to move "Forward." At least D'Antoni's offense is a lot more fun to watch. That is if this current lineup can pull it off.
The team is rallying around Mike, displaying an desire to embrace the run and gun offense. Kobe called Mike a feisty dude and an offensive genius. Kobe spent time with Mike during the Olympics and apparently developed a positive relationship.
So why was there so much anxiety among the fans over this decision?
They had available the most sucessful coach in the history of the NBA. A coach who has more championship rings than he has fingers to display them on. A coach that has a history of winning championships with the Lakers in LA. A coach who has a history of winning championships with your star, Kobe Bryant, and a dominant center. He is a coach that has proven time and time again that when he gets to the championship series, he can get the job done. A coach who is willing and able to take over the reigns of you franchise that seems to be in trouble and restore it to it's former glory. That coach is Phil Jackson.
So, what do the Lakers do? They hire a coach that has never won a championship. They hire a coach that has never even made it to a championship game. They hire a coach whose system has proven that as you move further into the playoffs, it becomes less and less successful. They hire a coach who has never been able to get a team to play defense. They hire a coach that had success with Steve Nash when he was a lot younger than he is today. They hire a coach who is a run an gun guy, who will be running with a team that has 3 stars that are way past their prime. They hire a coach whose offense depends a lot on having players who can hit the 3, something this team hasn't been all that good at doing. They hired a coach who had to resign after two disappointing season as the head coach of the Knicks. Things didn't go well in New York.
They took a gamble and hired an experiment. Jerry Buss, Jim Buss, and Mike Kupchak, were all reportedly on board saying that Mike D'Antoni was the right guy for this current lineup of players. It is a nice thought. But at a time when this franchise may only have Kobe and Steve Nash for a couple more years, and need to sign Dwight Howard to a long term deal, and need to win now, is this the time for an experiement? is this the time to be taking a gamble that this is going to work? Why would they do this?
Some NBA commentators are starting to speculate that maybe it is all about money. They have to eat the remaining 11 million on Coach Brown's contract. Apparently, they are not paying D'Antoni very much, maybe only 4 Mil per year. So, the money they have to pay Brown and D'Antoni combined is less than what they would have to pay Phil Jackson. After all the money they have spent on the roster making it the biggest payroll in NBA histroy, and after the obscene luxury tax, is this the time to go cheap on an unproven coach???
With the signing of Phil Jackson, I was going to instantly move the Lakers way up on my Power Rankings. Now, it will a matter of the team having to prove it to me. With Phil Jackson, I know this team was going to compete for a championship. Now, we could see veteran players breaking down with injuries while trying to run a young man's offense. If Kobe, or Dwight, or Steve, or Pau are not there for the playoffs, our chances are diminished. Running the Triangle, the chances of all those players being there for the stretch run would have been greatly increased.
I admit that I am tired of watching the Triangle offense. It isn't that exciting to watch anymore. On the other hand, Mike D'Antoni's run and gun style is fun to watch and a lot more entertaining. The only thing is that Mike D's system has won anything yet, and the Triangle has.
This experiment might work......it might not. I hope it does.
Comments via Facebook