Lakers torn between Phil Jackson, Mike D'Antoni from start

Kevork Djansezian

The Los Angeles Lakers shocked many by choosing Mike D'Antoni to succeed Mike Brown as the team's head coach rather than bringing in Phil Jackson for a third stint as the team's head coach. But Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register writes that while the decision was a very tough one for Lakers' brass, it was made with the team's future with Dwight Howard as a franchise cornerstone in mind.

Jackson, of course, won five championships in ten seasons with Los Angeles while Mike D'Antoni has won none in ten seasons in charge of three teams. But Ding writes that what the team needs going forward isn't a rehash of Jackson's former years with the club, bur rather a new, hungry coach with a system meant to fit the team's new personnel. Dwight Howard and Steve Nash already looked lost in one complex offensive system, the Princeton Offense. While Kobe Bryant obviously would have loved a return to Jackson's vaunted Triangle Offense, it might not have been the best fit for the squad. And the team's players are all okay with the decision:

As much as Howard indicated he wanted to learn from Jackson, all of the Lakers' stars are on board with the decision to choose D'Antoni. Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol are Jedi Masters of Jackson's triangle offense, but again, this was more about the Lakers accenting the future than commissioning another sequel.

Nash is obviously comfortable with D'Antoni's pick-and-roll offense, having led the Phoenix Suns to three straight division titles in the mid-2000's. Howard will provide a perfect partner in the sets, while Bryant will get the ball in his hands without having to create as much. While the decision will disappoint many, D'Antoni will be thrilled to have the opportunity to create his legacy after coming up short with multiple teams, and the personnel on the roster is easily enough to bring home an NBA Championship if they can mesh in his offensive system.

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