Up until the afternoon of 12 November, internet speculation was banking on ex-Lakers head coach Phil Jackson (also known as Big Chief Triangle) returning to the Los Angeles Lakers for the newly vacant head coaching job, and the inevitable re-emergence of the triangle offense in the Lakers’ system.
Imagine everyone’s surprise when news broke about ex-Knicks head coach Mike D’Antoni being signed to the position with a four year contract, a rumoured 12 million, three year deal with the fourth year being an option.
Mike D’Antoni signed a four-year deal with the Lakers. Phil Jackson was “asking for the moon,” accoring to source familiar w/ the situation.
? Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) November 12, 2012
According to Lakers beat writer Mike Bresnahan (LA Times), Phil Jackson was reportedly “asking for the moon” in negotiations for the job. We can only speculate as to whether this was indeed the real reason for D’Antoni being chosen over Jackson for the job.
D’Antoni and the Nash-era Suns
D’Antoni was known best for his coaching stint in the Nash-era Phoenix Suns for his uptempo, high-scoring offense style, known as “Seven Seconds Or Less”, which produced consecutive seasons records of fifty wins at least.
This was a complete turnaround from his first season with the Suns before Nash was recruited and the new offense installed; a dismal 2003-04 season that produced a 29-53 season record.
D’Antoni and the Melo Knicks
His head coaching tenure with the New York Knicks did not fare as well, peaking with a first-round exit in the 2010-11 playoffs, with the Knicks performing below .500 for the other seasons during his era.
He eventually resigned from the position of Knicks head coach, but was rumoured to have left the organisation after repeated disagreements with star player Carmelo Anthony, who allegedly did not believe in executing D’Antoni’s offensive system.
Stay tuned as the the season develops. Will the Lakers believe and adapt to D’Antoni’s run and gun offense, or will it result in yet another losing streak the way ex-coach Mike Brown’s Princeton offense did? Tell us what you think about this latest development for the purple and gold franchise.