Brighter day to come in Los Angeles?By Jasmine Cannon | 11/14/2012 11:00pm
It all started with Dwight Howard. Then there was Steve Nash. And Los Angeles Lakers fans were claiming their throne back atop the western conference of the NBA.
The season started and Lakers fan’s smiles and optimism turned into frowns and constant complaints. It is true Los Angeles won zero games during the preseason, but most people don’t think of the preseason as a serious measure of what the regular season will be like.
The regular season started and the Lakers continued their losing ways. They lost to the Mavericks, Blazers and Clippers before getting their first win against the Pistons. The Lakers then lost to the Jazz and two days later Lakers executives announced the firing of head coach Mike Brown.
“Mike was very hard-working and dedicated, but we felt it was in the best interest of the team to make a change at this time,” said Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak. “We appreciate Mike’s efforts and contributions and wish him and his family the best of luck.”
The search for a new head coach began immediately and Lakers fans got excited once again when legendary coach Phil Jackson’s name was brought into the conversation. However, much to the chagrin of the fans, Jackson was not named the new coach and Mike D’Antoni was.
“I really didn’t know what to expect, to be honest,” Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant said. “I think we are all thinking it was gonna be Phil [Jackson]. It probably caught Mike [D’Antoni] a little bit off guard, too. But I’m excited.”
Jackson said he was heavily considering taking the job and was given the choice to let the Lakers front office know whether or not he accepted the position by Monday morning. He got a call Sunday night that they had chosen D’Antoni instead.
D’Antoni has coached three different NBA teams in the last 10 years and has won zero championships. He did coach new Lakers point guard Steve Nash, who won two MVP awards under his reign in Phoenix. He also led Phoenix to the western conference finals twice, but never to the NBA finals.
It’s known that Brown is a defensive-minded coach, while D’Antoni specializes on the offensive end. It’s my assumption that the Lakers felt as if the lack of chemistry on the offense was subsequent to Brown’s coaching style, which hindered them from winning games.
I’m not really sure if that’s the case, but I do know that the NBA season is long – a marathon, not a sprint. I also know that the beginning of the season can mean a lot as you try to observe how your team will be after the all-star break heading into the playoffs.
I’m not a Lakers fan by any means, and their failures have not caused me to lose any sleep at all. Nash needs to get healthy, Bryant needs to be a team player, and Howard needs to be mature if the Lakers want to reclaim their western conference dominance. But in the mean time, go Thunder!