When you have Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard on your team, everything will be okay…right?
Outspoken Hall of Famer and ESPN analyst Magic Johnson spoke up on Wednesday, and he veered from his normal praising self:
The reason I haven't tweeted in 2 days is because I've been mourning Phil Jackson not being hired as the Lakers head coach.
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) November 14, 2012
That’s a far cry from the guy who we hear on a nightly basis gushing that so-and-so had a spectacular night and is headed for great things. Not only that, but it’s about his beloved Los Angeles Lakers.
First he said that Mike Brown wasn’t suited for the job. That proved to be true. Now he says the exact same thing about D’Antoni…if I was a Laker fan, I would be at least a little bit worried.
We should heed Magic’s words because when he does question something, there is probably reason to do so 1) because he usually only points out the strengths in a player or situation and 2) he knows the game and in particular his Lakers. While I’m not ready to give up one of the top spots in the Western Conference for the Los Angeles Lakers, I do think they might lose their reservation to other persistent customers. The Clippers are for real, the Spurs will do their usual under-the-radar thing, and the Harden/Lin combo in Houston is ready for liftoff.
Now, there is a point that should not be neglected, and that is the fact that Mike D’Antoni and Steve Nash do have a history. While it is a championship-less history, they have proven to be masterminds at orchestrating an offense. Should translate well to Los Angeles right?
I’m not sold. The selflessness of a mediocrely talented Suns squad (save Nash and Amare Stoudemire) does not compare very well to the Lakers because you have two stars that demand the ball a lot and the fact that Kobe is more of an isolation scorer rather than someone who reaps the benefits of offense created by a point guard. Why? The rather extensive list of average and below-average point guards that he has played with will provide that answer. Kobe just is not a catch-and-shoot type player, which is something that Nash sets up (aside from working the pick and roll). When Nash gets back from injury there will be some more growing pains.
Kobe Bryant spoke up on Thursday, saying that contrary to what Magic Johnson has said, Jim Buss has “made all the right choices.” My question to whoever reported that quote: did Kobe say that with a straight face? If he did, Kobe is either lying or clueless, and I highly doubt it’s the latter.
After all, Jim Buss admitted that Kobe should have been consulted on the hiring of Mike Brown the first go-round. Whether Buss was trying to make a statement that he is in control of the Lakers organization or not is up for debate, but the truth is that his decision was completely and entirely wrong. At least this time, Buss had the intelligence to get Kobe’s approval to hire Mike D'Antoni.
Truthfully it is not even ten games into the season, but if Los Angeles can’t figure out how to get out of their early season slump, the question becomes what next? Could you ever fire two coaches in the same year? Or if it comes down to players, who goes? We know one thing is for sure: Kobe and the Lakers front office won’t have the patience to merely wait it out.
Grab your popcorn, folks, this is a movie made only in Hollywood.
What do you think…will D’Antoni work for LA? Voice your opinion below!