As reported late last week, the struggling Cleveland Cavaliers fired head coach Byron Scott following the culmination of what would be considered by the club and its fans a rather humiliating, disappointing season. The Cavs have been on a steady decline since the infamous departure of superstar LeBron James in early 2011, and have made every effort to get back to the playoffs by drafting young rookie star Kyrie Irving and re-building what many believe can be a competitive team going forward. This has not been the case recently, and the Cavs finished the 2012/13 season with a lowly 24-58 win/loss record, missing the playoffs and sparking the firing of Scott.
After what was thought to be the job only Phil Jackson was going to take, the Los Angeles Lakers made a shock move late Monday night by hiring ex-New York Knicks and Olympic coach Mike D’Antoni. D’Antoni will likely assume control of the team against Phoenix on Friday as he is currently unable to fly to LA due to an existing knee condition he recently had surgery on. This hiring makes a lot of sense to the Lakers who have struggled to get any fluency on offense this season, and with players like Steve Nash, whom D’Antoni has coached before, Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard on the team this is sure to be one big offensive juggernaut. Here, we’re breaking down what went wrong with Phil Jackson, and where the Lakers can excel under Mike D’Antoni.
Following the news on Saturday that the LA Lakers had fired head coach Mike Brown, there has been an influx of speculation about how the team will cope with the change, who would take on the challenge as an interim coach and ultimately, who would replace Brown. We’ve seen a very vulnerable Lakers team so far this season and yes, there are some excuses. Dwight Howard’s back, Steve Nash’s Leg, Kobe Bryant’s foot as well as others but the biggest concern amongst many fans was that Mike Brown was still holding his position as head coach.
After the worst start to a season since 1993/94, the Lakers had been very close to pushing the panic button with many people beginning to believe this may be a reincarnation of the much over-hyped team of 2004/05 and not in fact as scary as most thought they would be. Including the preseason, this Lakers team of Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol, Steve Nash and Metta World Peace went 1-12. One single win in 13 games over 5 odd months. This team of superstars found themselves alone at the stone cold bottom of the Western Conference. Granted, it’s early days but fans in LA don’t want to wait. They want to win. Now.