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Woj: Lakers call Jackson's bluff (Insight to the D'Antoni hire)


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#1 West Coast

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Posted November 12, 2012 - 11:58 AM

Between the hours of Mike Brown's firing and a meeting on Saturday morning with history's most accomplished coach, Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak privately told people there was one candidate: Phil Jackson.

Jackson wanted to humiliate Lakers vice president Jim Buss far more than he wanted to coach the team. He wanted significant allowances on travel, coaching duties and an ability to veto player personnel moves that didn't fit his vision.

With an unprecedented 11 coaching championships, Jackson had every right to make unprecedented demands. He doesn't have the right to be surprised when the Lakers rejected them and hired a pliable, cheaper coach in Mike D'Antoni.

"Phil wanted Jim Buss to walk away with his tail between his legs," one source with knowledge of the discussions told Yahoo! Sports. "He thought he had time to still negotiate with them, and see how much they would give him."

Now, the Lakers are going out of their way to spare Jackson the embarrassment of his overreaching, but this is pointless spin. They're working with him to sell the public that he hadn't asked for too much, that somehow the franchise chose D'Antoni over Jackson on sheer merit. It's noble, but laughable. Jackson heard those chants in Staples Center and never believed the Lakers had the guts to call his bluff before circling back to him on Monday.

"Phil's assistants convinced him that they had his back on the concerns [Jackson] had about his load as head coach, and he was ready to get a deal done on Monday," a source with knowledge of the talks said. "But this was about Jim Buss giving him a royal you-know-what in the end."
If Jackson was ever to return to coaching to chase a championship in a preferred locale, this job offered him the opportunity. His instincts were wrong on how to play these negotiations and it blew up on him. The Lakers could live with making Jackson the highest-paid coach in the NBA again, but Jackson had to come back in full, and the Lakers were wise to have those uncertainties.

Jackson listened to Kobe Bryant gush and gush about him on Friday night, and believed the strongest voice in the locker room would accept only his return the bench. It was a mistake. Bryant preferred Jackson, but he has a history with D'Antoni back to his childhood growing up in Italy and across several years of USA Basketball. Bryant and D'Antoni have a relationship, a trust, and that's somewhere to start once they're thrust together.

Once Jackson couldn't come to terms on Saturday, Bryant had prepared himself for the fact that D'Antoni would ultimately become the coach. For the Lakers' good, D'Antoni needs to have used his three-plus seasons in New York to have grown as a coach, as a leader, or this will go terribly for him in Los Angeles.

When everything had become too hard with the New York Knicks, D'Antoni walked into the office one morning and surrendered. Carmelo Anthony had stopped listening to him, stopped running his plays, and ownership never supported the coach. When Anthony grumbled to Bryant about D'Antoni's defensive acumen on a trip to Los Angeles before the coach's resignation in New York, one witness says Bryant shot back to Anthony – only half-kidding – that, seriously, when the hell have you ever played defense?

D'Antoni has been run out of two jobs and should be past the obsession he had over needing to win with his system, his way. These won't be the seven-seconds-or-less Lakers. They'll play plenty of pick-and-roll, but the biggest issue for D'Antoni's defense has never been where it was ranked in the league, but how the Suns players – including Steve Nash – never believed they were prepared for the big possessions, the big moments, in series with San Antonio. There was a discipline missing, a mindset, an understanding, in those moments of truths.

D'Antoni is notoriously sensitive to criticism, but he needs to be honest with himself to get the most out of these Lakers now, out of himself here. They never spent practice time on defense, because D'Antoni's offensive system was his genius, what got him into the NBA, got him millions and his personal mandate was forever validating it. Now, he's older. These are the Lakers and D'Antoni has to understand: This isn't about his vision, but winning.

Within the organization, Kupchak and the coaching staff understood this: Dwight Howard can make D'Antoni a far, far better defensive coach. For now, the staff believes Howard is still a shell of himself, that mobility in his back still isn't close to returning for another month, maybe two.
Stan Van Gundy has already reached out to D'Antoni, and encouraged him to keep assistant coach Steve Clifford on his staff. Clifford had a strong history of working with Stan in Orlando and Jeff Van Gundy in Houston and had gone to the Lakers to join Mike Brown's staff. As much as anyone, he understands how to incorporate an individual's flaws into the greatness of Howard's ability to dominate on the defensive end.

Over the summer, Jackson continued to tell people he was retired as a coach. He didn't want the job anymore. Once Los Angeles made the deal for Howard, his prism on returning to the Lakers changed again. Along with Bryant, Howard was the reason that a 12th title was possible for Jackson. Howard was the investment that made it easier for the Busses to buy out Brown's contract and make Jackson the highest-paid coach in the NBA again.

Jackson had his chance, and the strangest thing happened: The greatest coach in history overreached, misread the circumstances and had someone tell him "No" on Sunday night. The Lakers never picked Mike D'Antoni over Jackson. They picked him over desperation for Jackson. Maybe the Busses will regret the choice, but if Jackson truly wanted to coach again, no one will ever regret this more than him.

These are still the Lakers, and nowhere else in basketball does this opportunity at this moment in time come along – even for Phil Jackson.


http://tinyurl.com/avd37gt

#2 JGuez

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Posted November 12, 2012 - 12:03 PM

If this is all actually true about Jim and Phil trying to one-up the other guy I'm REALLY happy we didn't get Phil.

Why would we want some guy to coach our team if he actually doesn't give a [expletive] about this organization and just wants certain people to suffer?

Not only that, but let him dicate who we sign? What a freaking joke.

#3 RayRay

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Posted November 12, 2012 - 12:04 PM

Well Kobe must like D'antoni because he chose to wear the number 8 in honor of his days in Italy

And about the article, who knows what Jackson really wanted but if it is true then that's ridiculous, we had to go with Mike

Edited by RayRay, November 12, 2012 - 12:05 PM.

only Kobe can stop Kobe.

#4 Nego

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Posted November 12, 2012 - 12:05 PM

Does it matter, here's one thing that should be clear... With Phil we win with D'Antoni we contend simple.

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#5 RayRay

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Posted November 12, 2012 - 12:06 PM

Does it matter, here's one thing that should be clear... With Phil we win with D'Antoni we contend simple.


No guarantee Phil would get the job done.
A way better chance obviously but no guarantee
only Kobe can stop Kobe.

#6 24allday

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Posted November 12, 2012 - 12:08 PM

Does it matter, here's one thing that should be clear... With Phil we win with D'Antoni we contend simple.


Really? So getting Phil just guarantees a championship? I wanted Phil too, but we still would have to beat the Thunder/Spurs along with the Heat..

I'm glad we didn't get Phil if all that stuff is true, he just wanted to be the savior and be the man.

#7 West Coast

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Posted November 12, 2012 - 12:08 PM

Does it matter, here's one thing that should be clear... With Phil we win with D'Antoni we contend simple.


Completely false. There are no guarantees with Phil Jackson.

#8 Nego

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Posted November 12, 2012 - 12:08 PM

No guarantee Phil would get the job done.
A way better chance obviously but no guarantee

Nothing is guaranteed but Phil is the best coach in all of sports, our chances with him are significantly greater than with D'Antoni

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#9 Hollywood

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Posted November 12, 2012 - 12:08 PM

So we are counting on d antoni to learn from NY job mistakes? We will regret this .
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#10 GCMD

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Posted November 12, 2012 - 12:09 PM

Great read...hard to find something wrong with that.

7511301026_4a46afba50.jpg

 

 

Calling it right now:

Andrew Wiggins will be better than LeBron James.


#11 JGuez

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Posted November 12, 2012 - 12:09 PM

Does it matter, here's one thing that should be clear... With Phil we win with D'Antoni we contend simple.



Winning a championship is never clear. Phil got SWEPT by the Mavs in the second round after winning the championship the year before. Not even 4-3, 4-2 or 4-1....4-0. We got swept under Phil and you can blame it on the team, or maybe you can actually put some blame on the coach as well since he would have got credit if we won it all.

#12 David

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Posted November 12, 2012 - 12:09 PM

Does anyone know why do Phil and Jim hate each other so much?

KOBE. #VINO. BRYANT.


#13 Hollywood

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Posted November 12, 2012 - 12:10 PM

The relationship between phil and jim is far more complicated than anyone here can understand. Phil probably does not want to Answer to jim because they guy is learning in the fly about being the owner.
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#14 Jackson

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Posted November 12, 2012 - 12:10 PM

And if you dont know, now you know.

#15 Hollywood

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Posted November 12, 2012 - 12:11 PM

mDT never made it past the wcf whats your point?
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#16 West Coast

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Posted November 12, 2012 - 12:11 PM

John Ireland said on the radio that Jerry Buss, not Jim, made the decision for D'Antoni

#17 Nego

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Posted November 12, 2012 - 12:13 PM

Winning a championship is never clear. Phil got SWEPT by the Mavs in the second round after winning the championship the year before. Not even 4-3, 4-2 or 4-1....4-0. We got swept under Phil and you can blame it on the team, or maybe you can actually put some blame on the coach as well since he would have got credit if we won it all.


It's not Phil's fault that Bynum was immature and didn't give it 100% or that Kobe was playing on one leg or that Pau had some personal issues that he couldn't leave outside the court... look at the end of game 4 they embarrassed Phil they thought they were going to have it easy and it did not play out that way I don't blame Phil for anything that year.

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#18 Disturbed

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Posted November 12, 2012 - 12:16 PM

Rambis on ESPN said Phil is a competitor a winner and did not make the demands the press was reporting. In fact he said the press was irresponsible for writing that PJ was asking to not travel with the team ect. Rambis realy seemed pissed off. This was even before the Woj article. We all know that Rambis has directly talked to PJ because he most likely was going to become part of his staff once again..

I believe Rambis..
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#19 Cj2008nw

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Posted November 12, 2012 - 12:21 PM

Phil Jackson is a guaranteed championship. He brought us 5 why would you doubt him with another super team?

#20 JGuez

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Posted November 12, 2012 - 12:22 PM

It's not Phil's fault that Bynum was immature and didn't give it 100% or that Kobe was playing on one leg or that Pau had some personal issues that he couldn't leave outside the court... look at the end of game 4 they embarrassed Phil they thought they were going to have it easy and it did not play out that way I don't blame Phil for anything that year.




And I agree with you on those points, but at the end of the day the greatest coach of all time got swept with the same team he had the season before when they won.

You wouldn't put any of the blame on him for a sweep? They couldn't just take 1 game....the first 2 were at home. I actually went to the 2nd and was in shock when we lost.

What I'm trying to imply here is maybe Phil really isn't in it anymore and that's fine considering he crushes every other coach with his 11 championships. Having Phil doesn't guarantee you a championship.

Edited by JGuez, November 12, 2012 - 12:22 PM.





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