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No one detests Mike D’Antoni more than we do.
Jim Buss, don’t forget, picked Mike Brown before Mike D’Antoni. Coaching for the LA Lakers is perhaps the most pivotal part of the entire Laker organization.
It all happened years and years ago, when the Lakers could never beat the dreaded Boston Celtics. The cigar chewing Red Auerbach, who later became one of the most offensive basketball commentators in NBA history – taunted our loveable Lakers and broke the heart of LA fans – time and time again. Jerry West even coached for a while before he brought in the great Pat Riley…..and the Showtime Lakers with Magic and Kareem. The Lakers started beating those Celtics and would not stop.
Fast forward to today. Patriarch Jerry Buss passed away. The helm of the Lakers was initially turned over to Jeannie Buss and the fantastic Hall of Fame Coach Phil Jackson. Then, the Laker family had internal problems and in the end the younger brother Jim Buss took over operations, player selection and decisions on who would be the next coach.
Mike Brown didn’t have the Public Relations skills and was a failure from the start. Completely throwing out the old Tri-angle Offense of Phil Jackson – did not endear himself to either the players, the fans or the sports writers. Finally, Mike Brown was gone and there was even talk that Phil Jackson might come back to Coach the LA Lakers again. That effort was cut off in mid stream with the stupid acquisition of aging Steve Nash and worse was bringing in the ne’er-do-well coach Mike D’Antoni without even listening to negotiations with Phil Jackson. Too much family involvement with those decisions…..Jeannie Buss has been Phil Jackson’s girlfriend for many years. Get it?
Then the worst of all things occurred when Superstar Kobe Bryant, in the 2012 play-offs, trying to do all of it himself, willing the world to stop, willing the Lakers into another ring on the ladder – destroyed his ACL and has been out until last week when he miraculously returned to play…in the first quarter of the NBA 2013 Season.
Last night Kobe leads the the ailing Lakers to a win over the very average Charlotte Hornets, in a season seemingly designed to end in a .500 percentage win season, no play-offs and lots of argument, dumb Mike D’Antoni comments and continues keeping players who seem to always fail in “Crunch Time”. Steve Blake is one of those guys that hits 100 three pointers in a row and misses at the foul line with 26 seconds to play. Blake is a player that freezes up when the clock hits 2 minutes and 20 seconds to play. He couldn’t hit his grandmother in the front row sitting next to Jack Nicholson. Steve Nash will probably not return to play in 2013 or perhaps …ever!
Pau Gasol speaks up for a time now – without much moxie, “D’Antoni style”. Thank goodness Kobe is back, but he cannot do it alone. Kobe does not need another season or career ending injury this year. We need a season and LA Lakers career ending program for Mike D’Antoni. We need Brian Shaw. Shaw is not the Coach of the Denver Nuggets and is getting the cheap money. Brian was a Laker, Brian goes back and Jim Buss will never hire him because he was tied to Jerry West, Jerry Buss, Jeannie Buss and Phil Jackson. Ridiculous, that Jim Buss lets his own stupidity ruin our great Laker tradition of winning.
Kobe, its time for a little chat with Jim Buss that should go something like this: ”Leave Pau Gasol alone dude! He has given his heart and soul to and for the Lakers. Secondly, get rid of D’Antoni NOW – not at the end of this listless, on-off season. Since we can’t get Doc Rivers, you won’t hire Brian Shaw….the least you can do is offer a little comic relief and bring in Stan Van Gundy to finish off this season, as interim coach – for the really cheap money. If he ends the season over .675 winning percentage….you give him another one year contract. Otherwise you can go around the league and ASK the current array of Laker players who they want – for once!”
This is not Space Science Jim Buss…..this is NBA Basketball and since the Clippers look like they have a good chance to make it past the 2nd round in the play-offs….we are already embarrassed enough to last a lifetime. However, the one remaining image we want in Laker Land – is imaginative, courageous, honest and winning. Mediocrity is not a Laker word. Mediocrity is a concept for those uncommitted, undirected and unreasonable NBA owners who are only in the game because they get invited to all the great parties.
Dear Kobe….if you’d be so king….to fill a request….. We love you Kobe, but do not let any stupid Coach or Owner do anything to diminish your legacy and greatness – and especially that of the LA Lakers!