Lakers Coach Mike D’Antoni: It’s Title or Bust
New Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni isn’t wasting our time with generic “coach speak” when it comes to the expectations facing him in Los Angeles according to ESPNLA:
“I’m going to do everything I can do to win a championship,” D’Antoni said Tuesday afternoon on the “Mason and Ireland” show on ESPNLA 710. “If we’re not at least in the hunt, a serious hunt, then I’ve failed as a head coach. I’m comfortable with that.”
Glad that D’Antoni gets it. Coaching a Lakers team led by Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, and Dwight Howard is one thing, but getting the job after the Lakers’ brass allowed the process to play out publicly like a bad episode of a VH1 reality show only complicated matters for the ex-Knicks/Suns coach. While D’Antoni’s hiring was met with strong criticism, Lakers’ fans longing for Phil Jackson’s championship pedigree should remember that D’Antoni was likely one Robert Horry shove away from an NBA title in 2007. Also, D’Antoni was never the right fit in New York because his style of play is better suited for the Western Conference. Besides, is anyone ever going to get Carmelo Anthony or Amare Stoudemire to play defense? These Lakers are the team that D’Antoni wished that he had during his glory years in Phoenix. He’s reunited with Steve Nash, Dwight Howard can defend the basket in ways that Amare Stoudemire couldn’t, Metta World Peace is the enforcer that those Phoenix teams lacked, Pau Gasol provides offensive firepower up front, and Kobe Bryant is, well Kobe Bryant. D’Antoni is absolutely right. If he doesn’t win a title with this Lakers team, he never will.