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Coach Update (Pg. 59 - D'Antoni WILL coach tonight)


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#1 Lakers4Life

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Posted November 09, 2012 - 11:40 PM

http://sports.yahoo....g-09281209.html

Everyone remembers the glorious Phil Jackson, the championships, the genius, and they forget the way they had watched him so tired, so beaten in his final season with the Los Angeles Lakers. They forget the way the work ethic had eroded within the franchise, the way that he lost discipline within the roster.

Lakers owner Jerry Buss wants to bring Jackson back to coach again, and perhaps he's holding onto something that left long ago: the coach's drive and determination to withstand the grind of the job. He'll come back, cash those checks and leave everyone unsure whether he's still hell-bent on molding championship teams. His old assistants – Jim Cleamons and Kurt Rambis – are out of coaching jobs and anxious to come back to the bench with history's greatest coach.

Everyone's going to get paid again, but you wonder: Do they have the stomach to chase championships again?

The old band could get back together, and it is fair to suspect that one of those staggering $10 million-a-season salaries could be the most compelling reason for Jackson to return to the bench in Los Angeles. Jackson has the Lakers right where he wants them: desperate, needy and perhaps willing to pay a steep price to bring him back a third time.

Mike Brown had arrived at the Lakers' practice facility for the morning shootaround believing he needed a victory over the Golden State Warriors on Friday night to spare his job. Ownership and management had been meeting about him his future throughout Thursday, and general manager Mitch Kupchak advocated to give the beleaguered Brown longer than five games before firing him, sources said.

Jim Buss, the Lakers' executive vice president, had gone along with the plan on Thursday, but something changed overnight into Friday. Jerry Buss wanted Brown out, and wanted him out now. As Brown gathered his assistants to plan for Friday night's game, a request came for him to step outside the room. The forever chipper, eager Brown returned to his coaching staff 10 minutes later with a decidedly different disposition.

"They fired me," Brown simply said.

All around the franchise, the belief was that the decision had come from Jerry Buss, who had lost patience with his $100 million roster investment losing four out of five games to start the season. He was tired of the Princeton offense, tired of the season-ticket holders' complaining, tired of the coach who he let his son, Jim, hire two years ago. For the $100 million of payroll – and the $30 million more of luxury tax – the old man wanted to bring Showtime back to the Staples Center. This was Jerry Buss playing the part of patriarch again.

Jackson hasn't coached since leaving the Lakers after the 2010-11 season.

Eventually, Kupchak would turn to his old NBA coach with the Washington Bullets, Bernie Bickerstaff, to get the team through Friday night's game against Golden State. Dump the Princeton offense, Bickerstaff was told. Showtime doesn't do Ivy League, and few in ownership – nor management – had to be convinced that the brief exploration had been a failure.

Only, the Lakers were sixth in offensive efficiency. In this short sampling, the bigger issues were defense and the bench. "Kobe likes the offense, and has from the start," one league source briefed on the conversations told Yahoo! Sports. "But they told Bernie: 'This is about the offense. It has to go.' "

Everyone is so sure that Jackson is the savior here, but they forget how uninspired he had seemed in that final season. They forget that too much of the Lakers' staff had become lethargic, that the arrival of Brown had been uncomfortable for so many so used to leaving early every day. Yet this is a results business, and no one cares how many hours that Brown invested into the job, or how late he made his assistants stay.

This is about public relations now, about feeding that Staples Center and Hollywood monster, and Buss needs a coach with a pedigree. The greatest coach of all, Phil Jackson, could be waiting to come cash Buss' checks again, and motivated and inspired, his hiring would be a bargain at any price. He still needs to decide that he wants to coach again, that he wants the Lakers, but he's forever a sucker for the drama, for riding back to save the franchise. Two years ago, he couldn't wait to get out of the Lakers, get out of the NBA, and you wonder what's changed except for boredom and that lust for the next big score, that next big Hollywood ending.

"We want Phil," the Lakers fans chanted on Friday night in the Staples Center. "We want Phil."

Jerry Buss' plan is to give the people what they want: the great Phil Jackson. They remember the five titles with the Lakers, but everyone wants to forget the end, the way that Jackson dragged himself, dragged a team, to the finish line. This job is a grind, and those cheers fade fast. There are no Hollywood endings in the NBA – just old guys staying too long, coming back for all the wrong reasons.

Phil Jackson needs to think long and hard, because this job demands something out of a man that maybe's no longer inside of him. Remember the way it ended two year ago, remember the way that Jackson, that the organization, that too many of the players no longer drove themselves. Remember, Phil Jackson knew it was time to go.



do you guys agree with him?
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#2 Cowboys&LakersFan

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Posted November 09, 2012 - 11:43 PM

It wasn't really Phil's fault for that disastrous ending in 2011. I think that Lakers team was just gassed after three consecutive Finals appearances and it clearly showed. Kobe didn't have that same spring he had in the two championship runs. Dallas turned him into a jumpshooter essentially. Pau was terrible, and the bench was badly outplayed by Dallas's bench. Bynum was really the only guy who played well and let's face it if he's your best player instead of Kobe gonna be hard to win.
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#3 Miggs

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Posted November 09, 2012 - 11:48 PM

This guy is an idiot. He gets pay to write. Phil is not done.

#4 Lakers4Life

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Posted November 09, 2012 - 11:48 PM

Yeh I agree with you Cowboys I think 2011 the team lost the "drive" to win. Not necessarily Phil. Phil tried to remember him pointing his finger at Pau and trying to do anything to make them play hard. I think Phil will be able to take this laker team to the finals. With a hungrier and healthier Kobe. A dwight howard and a steve Nash chasing their first rings, the hunger will be there I think.
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#5 West Coast

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Posted November 09, 2012 - 11:50 PM

It wasn't really Phil's fault for that disastrous ending in 2011. I think that Lakers team was just gassed after three consecutive Finals appearances and it clearly showed. Kobe didn't have that same spring he had in the two championship runs. Dallas turned him into a jumpshooter essentially. Pau was terrible, and the bench was badly outplayed by Dallas's bench. Bynum was really the only guy who played well and let's face it if he's your best player instead of Kobe gonna be hard to win.



You forget that Kobe was on one leg during those playoffs? He couldn't do much due to injuries and he even mentioned in his post game tonight that it left a bad taste in his mouth because he couldn't give it his all in Phil's final season. It wasn't anything Dallas did to limit Kobe.

Do agree though that the team looked burned out after three straight trips to the finals. I always said too that year that the Lakers needed a big roster move to change the team dynamic and it never happened (that's the year Melo was rumored for Bynum). We essentially were going for the Finals for the fourth straight year with the same exact team.

#6 Jay Cee

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Posted November 09, 2012 - 11:50 PM

That article is such a buzzkill haha. I don't think the whole "old guys staying too long" can be applied to coaches, I don't really understand his point there.

#7 GCMD

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Posted November 09, 2012 - 11:50 PM

Everything he said is true...and more...

But I'm going to sit back and cash my "I told you so" later...

#8 West Coast

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Posted November 09, 2012 - 11:50 PM

This guy is an idiot. He gets pay to write. Phil is not done.


Yeah..... Woj is hardly an idiot.

#9 Lakers4Life

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Posted November 09, 2012 - 11:53 PM

How good is this photo lol
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#10 bigfetz

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Posted November 09, 2012 - 11:53 PM

I like woj for reporting and certain things like trade possibilities and what not but his analysis here is pretty off. I think he forgets he had a overly injured kobe, a center who was also very injury prone that was acting out ALOT, and a weaker gasol. Many other things too. That was a ruff season. We just though we would roll up in there and easily win a ship but we were way wrong. I mean just a year before that season phil won a back to back championship.

Phil will do great with this team. Its a whole new team really and that would light a fire with Phil. The only thing I do agree with woj here is about Phil tired and hurt. That is literally the only thing that is keeping me doubt he will be our coach. His back is really bad and doing travel all year and doing all the things a head coach does can cause a lot of problems. Maybe a year off has helped but its up to Phil. If he wants it it his to have.

#11 Lakers4Life

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Posted November 09, 2012 - 11:54 PM

Another thing that happened that season was the fact that we "peaked" too early didnt we go like 18-1 between March and April or something?
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#12 bigfetz

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Posted November 09, 2012 - 11:54 PM

This guy is an idiot. He gets pay to write. Phil is not done.

Woj is not an idiot. He actually is one of the few writers I really respect but I do think this analysis is very off.

#13 GCMD

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Posted November 09, 2012 - 11:55 PM

Like I said earlier...Phil is an institution unto himself. Fans believe that he does everything possible and that if they fail, it was the players fault. If we have really good players that don't fit Phil's triangle, it's because there's something wrong with the players, not Phil and not the Triangle.


All I've got to say is many people are in for a rude awakening once Phil gets here...

#14 bigvee

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Posted November 09, 2012 - 11:55 PM

This is Phil, in that Mavs series..



HE'S not the one who failed. HE was all in. Kobe was all in. The rest of the team? Old and tired. They had played in the finals 3 years in a row. They lost to a Mavs team on a mission. Yes, that last season wasn't Phil's best, but Woj is trying to describe them as kind of mediocre. They were still contending. Everyone believed it was the year for a Kobe vs LeBron matchup. Once Mike Brown was hired, OKC got the bigger edge with the media, not the Lakers, even before making the finals.

Everyone is so sure that Jackson is the savior here, but they forget how uninspired he had seemed in that final season.


Call me a blind Laker fan. Call me a homer. I don't care. But that statement is seriously false. Phil coached the way Phil coaches all the time - calmly. If you're going to call that uninterested, you shouldn't be paid to be writing it.

#15 Jay Cee

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Posted November 09, 2012 - 11:57 PM

Like I said earlier...Phil is an institution unto himself. Fans believe that he does everything possible and that if they fail, it was the players fault. If we have really good players that don't fit Phil's triangle, it's because there's something wrong with the players, not Phil and not the Triangle.


All I've got to say is many people are in for a rude awakening once Phil gets here...


Yeah, we got it, you don't like Phil Jackson

#16 West Coast

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Posted November 09, 2012 - 11:57 PM

Like I said earlier...Phil is an institution unto himself. Fans believe that he does everything possible and that if they fail, it was the players fault. If we have really good players that don't fit Phil's triangle, it's because there's something wrong with the players, not Phil and not the Triangle.


All I've got to say is many people are in for a rude awakening once Phil gets here...


So you believe this team doesn't have the pieces to run the Triangle?

#17 GCMD

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Posted November 09, 2012 - 11:59 PM

I love all of the excuses for us losing with Phil...

#18 Lakers4Life

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Posted November 10, 2012 - 12:00 AM

Something I noticed in the article it suggests Jerry Buss had his hands all over this and not JIm. It was Jerry that got impatient and called it in to sack Mike Brown.

Looks like Jerry still pulling the strings :D
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#19 Jay Cee

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Posted November 10, 2012 - 12:00 AM

I love using condescending punctuation...

#20 Lakers4Life

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Posted November 10, 2012 - 12:00 AM

I love all of the excuses for us losing with Phil...


So what about us winning 5 championships with Phil? Thats got to say something about him right? or wait no championships are meaningless.
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