Coach DAntoni: the exact man for the right team at the perfect time.
Posted by: SPQR on 01/17/2014 - 12:28 PM
All news is dismal for the Lakers: They sit at the bottom of the Pacific with a lowly 14-25 record, their losing skein has his six games and their record for the last ten games is an abysmal 1-9.
For this once proud franchise that only yesterday seemed on top of the world, winning two titles in three trips to finals this seems like a strange, inverted world; the Lakers as the Charlotte Hornets.
And with each loss, each failure, each mounting frustration, the clarion call grows louder: fire Coach D'Antoni. He is not the man for this team. Fire Coach D and hire someone better.
But for this fan, each successive regression, each exercise in futility makes me appreciate D'Antoni all the more. Fire him? No, at all costs, keep him right here where he is, because despite popular opinion he doing his best to help the Lakers be all they can be.
Am I talking about his coaching genius? His way of handling the team, his fixation on tough, pit bull defense which an understaffed team has to have to win as much as talent allows?
No, I don't see any of that happening under his aegis. So what is there to like, why do I want to keep his job on team going down faster than brick dropped softly in a deep lake?
My love for Coach D is predicated on the reality of this year's team and what is the best medicine for what ails it and what is needed for an eventual cure. Right now, what this team needs is a massive, quick infusion of young talent that can populate this team for years to come and the very best coach for us to achieve those ends is sitting right on the Lakers bench. Thank goodness for Coach D'Antoni.
The only object and sane goal left for this team is to get as high a pick in this years loaded draft as we possibly can. In this inverted year, every loss is a win, every win a loss that can take us a little further away from that great, young player this team, its organization and fans so desperately need.
So what would the firing of D'Antoni now achieve? Some burnt offering to frustration? A lashing out at season gone as wrong as it possibly could? The satisfaction of seeing a hated coach leave? A tacit admission by Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak that they were wrong with the hire that was never popular with Lakers fans? And what gain could happen? If the Lakers fired Coach D now and actually hired a coach who could strain the very best out of it though the colander of his coaching genius, what would be the result? If say, we won five, or ten more games with this new coach, would it really make a difference with our enjoyment of this lost season? Would it give us any hope of winning a title, or even making the playoffs? Of course not. It would simply change a possible streak of 1-9 into a possible streak of 4-6. Something to really look forward to, right?
But what it would do is remove us, win by D'Antoniless win further down that draft board. It could mean the difference between a Embiid, a Parker, a Wiggins or any of these guys down to Joe Who. And right now, this team does not need a Joe Who, or even a Joe 13th position pick. It needs a star for the future to build around. It needs to be at or near the top of this lottery.
Because in this strange, inverted, lost season, the further the Laker brick sinks into the depths of that murky lakes waters, the better our chances are for eventual reprieve and attaining a star who can lead the Lakers to a revanchist future. And if this happens, our lost season may seem something very different in just a few years.
So while the cries to fire Coach D now reverberate around the internet with the force of thunder in an electronic echo chamber because he is the wrong coach for this team, I think, no, keep him, keep him right here, because at this moment, in this lost, crazy, inverted season, he is exactly the right coach to help this team get where it needs to go.
And after this year, after we get that high lottery pick and hopefully, that great player for the future, then and only then will I join that deafening chorus: Fire Coach D'Antoni. Because at that point, when we put this season behind us, when we get what we need out of this season, then it will be time to move on. Then it will be time to hire the right coach for our future and for winning.
Until that time, this is one fan who loves Coach D, because he is right where he can do us the most good: the exact man for the right team at the perfect time.
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