Twitter Explodes as Lakers Hire Mike D'Antoni over Phil Jackson

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Twitter Explodes as Lakers Hire Mike D'Antoni over Phil Jackson
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Well, this isn't exactly what we saw coming.

Whether it measures up to Phil Jackson's messianic return, the Los Angeles Lakers opting to hire Mike D'Antoni as Mike Brown's replacement will still have plenty talking.

As confirmed by D'Antoni's agent to ESPN Los Angeles, the move comes as even more unexpected than the decision to fire Brown in the first place.

It certainly has ESPN's Chris Palmer scratching his head:

Why's Palmer so puzzled?:

Of course, there's more to it than that. D'Antoni has always fashioned himself an offensive wizard, a practitioner of a run-and-gun method that once had Steve Nash's Phoenix Suns scoring their way to perennial postseason appearances.

When it came time to cash in on those trips, something was missing—namely the defense. That was the knock against D'Antoni in Phoenix and New York alike, a troublesome subplot in light of the fact that L.A.'s defense was ranked in the middle of the pack last season.

Mark Medina summarizes the debate:

The right decision or not, it won't necessarily be a popular one, according to ESPN's Chris Broussard:

All the same, the Lakers seem to be behind this pretty enthusiastically—at least everyone who matters, according to the Los Angeles Times' Mike Bresnahan:

Oh yes, there is at least one other guy who matters, but by all accounts, he approved too.

Lakers reporter Mike Trudell reminds us of Kobe Bryant's most recent sentiments:

And, ESPN L.A.'s Arash Markazi reminds us of Kobe's much earlier sentiments:

So yeah, that probably had something to do with all this. For the record, however, Markazi notes that Kobe wasn't the only one buying into the D'Antoni hire:

For a locker room seemingly always on the brink, that's a good sign.

While Kobe's childhood memories and Summer Olympic ties give him something of a history with his new coach, he doesn't know him like teammate Steve Nash does. As Trudell points out, those two shared plenty of success in Phoenix:

So, everyone's on board with D'Antoni. But what happened to that other guy, the one who used to coach for the Lakers? It seemed as though Jackson was a lock for the job up until now, really. It turns out there were some deal-breakers, according to Bresnahan:

And by "moon," we mean what exactly? Markazi breaks it down:

Lakers fans who find themselves bent out of shape by this turn of events should take that last bit to heart. The last thing the Lakers needed was to go through all of this again in another year or two. 

And in the meantime, they'll make do—even if there's yet another adjustment period ahead, as ESPN's Marc Stein suspects:

By Marc Spears' calendar, D'Antoni has a little over a month to make that happen:

I vote Knicks-Lakers. We've seen enough of those other two teams. Intriguing subplots aside, the Lakers really just have to be ready to go by the playoffs. According to the Orange County Register's Kevin Ding, the Lakers are banking on a better fit:

Likewise, Phil Jackson's Triangle offense may have been a bit too similar to the read-and-react Princeton schemes the team was attempting to embrace, according to ESPN's Chris Broussard:

Yes, D'Antoni's prized pick-and-rolls will look mighty fine with this personnel—at least when he gets back on his feet and starts coaching. That won't be just yet, reports David Aldridge:

However you feel about the Lakers' new direction, we have to join Marc Stein in wondering if this young season could get any more intriguing:

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