Phil Jackson Snub, D'Antoni Hiring Proves Buss Family Wants Showtime, Control
The Phil Jackson snub is ringing around the league to pretty consistent reviews. Hiring Mike D'Antoni wasn't a bad move, but the way the Lakers and the Buss Family as a unit handled things wasn't in the most exemplary of ways.
Debate can ring about whether or not Jackson would have come in and whipped the Lakers into shape on his way to yet another championship. Word is after filling his fingers with rings he needs one for his right foot to balance it out with the ring on his left big toe. What's going to happen moving forward is a lot of talking about just that, but there's not going to be any real way of determining how Jackson would have done.
All we can do now is sit back and see how the Mike D'Antoni-Steve Nash reunion pans out and hope for some entertaining basketball.
There is one other thing we can look into regarding this situation. It seems more or less obvious that after the way Jim Buss and his family handled the entire coaching situation that they are going to have more of a say in the basketball decisions moving forward.
The first little hint of Buss' hands helping mold the company's clay was all the way back in 2005 when he fell in love with Andrew Bynum. He was always critical of Phil Jackson's use (or misuse if you ask Buss) of Bynum in the Triangle Offense, seeing as how Buss was a big reason the Lakers drafted Bynum.
From there we saw Buss completely expel all hints of Phil Jackson after the 2011 season ended with a second round playoff exit, something that is completely unacceptable in the eyes of the Los Angeles Lakers.
Phil pretty much explains all of that here:
The presumed replacement for Jackson was long-time assistant coach Brian Shaw, but Buss disliked Shaw's connection with Jackson and the Triangle, so he picked Mike Brown instead. On his way out of Los Angeles, Shaw expressed his displeasure with the front office and its lack of communication, which seems to have been an issue in the most recent coaching search as well.
Now Buss has gone in a different direction yet again when it comes to a possibility of continuing down a path that would lead back to Jackson.
Over the course of four days, Buss publicly backed Mike Brown and fired him two days later, the media got wind of a near-certain Jackson return dependent upon Buss giving him a say in control of the team, and then Buss signed D'Antoni before Jackson could give the team an answer on Monday.
Los Angeles hiring D'Antoni can and should be looked at from two angles.
First is the one that moves away from Jackson. Not only did the move keep Jackson from coming back, but it also cemented Buss' desire to have a say in running the team on every level that he can.
This is a team formed by Mitch Kupchak, but modeled after Jim Buss' desires.
Second, this is a return to days of old when the Lakers ran their opponents out of the building. It may not have been an intended consequence, but Los Angeles is on the way toward bringing back the Showtime Era.
Whether or not that is a good decision is very much up in the air, but it's the decision of the Buss family. The results are theirs.
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