All week long, our staff writers chime in on a series of topics, rumors and storylines leading up to the start of the season. In today’s edition of State of the Nation, our writers gauge whether or not fans will embrace coach Mike D’Antoni this season, especially after last season’s debacle:
With a full training camp under his belt, will coach D’Antoni finally receive a “fair shake” from the Lakers’ faithful this season?
Felipe Amaral // @F_Amaral
Not really. D’Antoni has already lost the faithful’s confidence with his performance last season. Even if the Lakers do well this year and exceed expectations, it’s conceivable that the general feeling would be that it’s happening in spite of D’Antoni, not because of him.
Jordan Grant // @JordanGrant90
I think as fans we owe it to him to back off a bit for now. This is a new season and a new start. How we start the season will be critical for him, but he needs to have our full support for the time being.
Mark Awad // @MarkeyTheBoss_
As long as you coach in Los Angeles and haven’t won a title, you will never get a fair shake. Expectations are extremely high here. The season hasn’t started and D’Antoni might already be on the hot seat. The coach has a target on his back and the only way you get rid of it, is to win baby!
Robert Benitez // @beeb0
No. I’ve always been on the “give D’Antoni a chance” bandwagon, but I’m in the minority. Lakers fans’ biggest issue with D’Antoni is simply the fact that he is not Phil Jackson. At the first sign of trouble, fans will be crying for D’Antoni’s head. The only way to change this is for them to win.
Bummi Anderson // @BummiNAnderson
With a full training camp, Mike D’Antoni will not have any excuses. Management went out and got players for his system, so it’s now “put up or shut up.” With Phil’s ghost lurking, D’Antoni will never get a fair shake with the fans, even with a ring.
Oren Levy // @LakersOren
Nope. Winning is the only way for D’Antoni to get any respect from Laker Nation, and this team is not championship caliber. Fair or not, fans see D’Antoni as the guy who took over this team instead of Phil Jackson. D’Antoni will never get a fair shake. But his replacement might.
Garret Garcia // @GarrettGarcia
I can’t say he will. Phil Jackson was one of the most beloved coaches in Lakers history and D’Antoni will always be the coach who beat him out for the position. D’Antoni will need to start winning and building a team the Lakers can stand behind. Unfortunately, this season doesn’t look like his year.
Melvin Taylor // @MelvinTaylorII
D’Antoni will never truly receive a fair shake unless he wins a championship as the Lakers coach. Point, blank, period. Sorry, but that is the way it is here. You cannot come to this franchise and expect anything less to be sufficient.
Jon Gaffer // @jewelslamo
D’Antoni has been through this scenario with other teams, but not with Lakers fans. We expect results, & demand a winning product. Respect is earned, not given out freely.
Jory Dreher // @Jay_Laker
While I want to say yes, I think it depends on how the Lakers come out of the gate. This is unfair in itself, however, when you consider Steve Nash’s health and the fact that Kobe’s return is still a question mark.
Final Question Tomorrow: What will be the biggest key to the Lakers’ success this season?