Lakers blow it with hiring of Mike D'Antoni

Why is the next Lakers coach a guy who can't walk without crutches and acknowledged as the second choice?

The Lakers say Jerry Buss, Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak were unanimous in agreement, you know, in blowing it.

Everyone is so excited.

We’re told it’s 95-5 that Phil Jackson will be the next Lakers’ coach, no one mentioning that the 5% minority happens to be Jerry, Jim and Mitch.

What’s the rush?

Why is the next Lakers coach, a guy who can’t walk without crutches and acknowledged as the second choice, doing a contract at 11:30 p.m.?

Were the Lakers afraid D’Antoni might get a better offer elsewhere in the morning?

This smacks of putting Jackson in his place, as if any place makes more sense than sitting in his Lakers high chair.

I’m upset. I wanted Phil Jackson. I came to really like the guy after years of sparring. Once, Jackson even paid for dinner.

He makes the Lakers interesting, exciting and potentially so much better than anyone else could.

Almost everyone wants Phil. The fans were chanting for him, and I can just imagine Phil hearing it and putting together his list of demands.

Ask the fans, and the chant at Staples might have turned to, “Give him whatever he wants, give him whatever he wants.’’

So what happens when reality muddies the waters?

If he’s asking for $10 million, $12 million, $15 million, what’s the breaking point? I have none --- not my money.

If he wants a piece of the team, knowing the Buss’ own less than 70% of the franchise, what’s too much? One percent, five, ten? It won’t affect my retirement.

If he wants more front office control, why not, although I can’t imagine that being the case, knowing his respect for Kupchak.

If he wants Jim Buss to disappear, I can relate because I have a boss as well, but what if he won’t disappear?

If Phil doesn’t want to coach all the road games -- and who wants to go to Memphis? -- OK then maybe I start drawing the line.

But I can’t imagine Phil Jackson not being the Lakers’ coach because no one could agree whether he should go to Memphis or not.

Come on, guys, just talk it out.

It’s so simple; I just want Phil back on the bench, and you agree with me. And when is the last time you agreed with me on anything?



Bleacher Report | Los Angeles

Reader contributions from Times partner Bleacher Report

More on Bleacher Report »