D'Antoni with Lakers will put some show back in Showtime
Woke up this morning after a nice relaxing eve to find out that no, Phil Jackson will not be the next coach of the Los Angeles Lakers but that Mike D’Antoni got a four-year deal to do the job.
Let the fun begin.
This is going to be great, I think; D’Antoni is just the kind of hands-off coach the veteran Lakers need, he’ll put an offensive system in place that relies a lot of freelancing and high screen and roll and I know that guys like Nash and Kobe and Pau and Howard will thrive in it.
Say what you want about D’Antoni, and I’m sure there are those in New York who weren’t entirely enthralled by him, but his teams are fun to watch. They get up and down the floor quickly, there’s a lot of three-pointers and hard rolls to the basket and, really, this has a chance to be the closest thing to Showtime out there than anything since the halcyon days of Magic and Kareem and the lads.
It’s going to be fun to watch and it really puts some “oomph” into the Lakers. Even with that Hall of Fame-studded lineup – at least from the feeling I got being around them for four days and from the games I saw this year – there didn’t seem to be much joy. Yes, they talked about long hours in the gym and how they were working hard to figure out the nuances of what Mike Brown wanted to run offensively but I didn’t see an awful lot of smiles.
You watch them play now. They will be giggling it’ll be so much fun just to unleash their creativity and talents without many restrictions. Cannot wait.
But is it the right hire, given that Jackson was out there and obviously on the list?
Absolutely. No question at all.
There’s no doubt Phil is a great, great coach, all those rings mean something but, to tell you the truth, he looked worn and beaten down when he walked away after that disastrous series with Dallas. I’m sure he’s a bit revitalized by his extended leave but even when his name was first mentioned on Friday, I was a bit dubious.
The fact he was trying to find a way to not coach all the games – the travel really gets to him – and the fact there’s a large dose of “been there, done that” to his interest made me wonder if a different direction wasn’t the best.
D’Antoni is certainly different, and the right choice if they want success coupled with fun out there in LaLa land, they’ve got it.
And it sure makes Christmas Day, Knicks at Lakers, far more important and likely entertaining. Better check my flight to San Antonio that day so I can be sure to see it.
Apropos of nothing, heard this on the radio yesterday and when Super Son gets done nailing the Jungleland sax solo, he can move on to this CCR tune and I’d be quite happy with that.
Well, since we mentioned Alan Anderson is on crutches and Kyle Lowry was at the doctor during practice yesterday, it’s probably going to be Kleiza or McGuire who starts tonight.
Which one? Not sure it really matters, I’m thinking it’s more likely to be McGuire but that fact Dwane made it a point to suggest he needs McGuire on the floor with Lucas to take some of the ball-handling duties makes that a total guess.
Luckily, we don’t have long to find out, we’ll know sometime around 7 tonight.
And when we do, I’ll be somewhere in Indianapolis trying to either find the game or decided whether I want the medium-rare ribeye or the prime rib at St. Elmo’s.
Bad flights on the back-to-back get me the night off, Not Grace Kelly will be your chronicler this evening.
Those zany lads who run FIBA have started screwing with the world championships, the qualifications for them and the Olympic qualification and for the life of me, I cannot figure out why, except it’s some kind of a cash grab, control demand and it could – if it goes ahead as basically planned now – take all NBAers and even collegians out of the qualification processes.
Read the details here but the short strokes are that they are changing the qualification process for the worlds to something akin to soccer’s – broken into groups and played out over two years with home-and-home series between countries. They are talking about doing it in November, February and June some years, and there’s no way in the world NBA teams or even EuroLeague teams are going to let their players go to play.
And, for some reason, they are going to increase the number of teams in the worlds to 32 (that’s 16 too many, to tell you the truth because Micronesia vs. Tunisia is hardly worth it) and they’re moving the worlds to an off-year (2019, 2023, 2027) to get them away from soccer’s World Cup.
That’s not a bad idea, the rest of it seems cockamamie and not well thought out, to me, and I’m sure there will be more debate before it’s finalized.
What does it mean for Canada? Well, if Canada can’t get its top players released for the qualification process, it’s going to suck big time and they need to press FIBA to make sure that doesn’t happen.
You watch the Argo game?
Good for you, if you did.
But it was tough for some of us and rather telling.
Baseball Steve (a rabid Argo fan) and I were trying to find a couple of stools for the game. First place we tried, a joint with about two dozen TVs, couldn’t put a single one on the CFL because it’s got a contract to show solely NFL on Sunday afternoons and we had to do some sweet-talking at a second place and cajole them to move a Minnesota Vikings game off one of the screens.
Respect? CFL gets none.
Not that it really means anything, actually, but Canada has somehow reached the top 10 in combined world rankings, according to the list you can see here.
Of course, it’s based mainly on the top-8 Olympic finish of the women and the great age-group success the junior and cadet teams had and the men have a long way to go to get back to relevance but it’s still kind of neat, I guess.