Last night, at about 11:30 pm, the Lakers signed Mike D’Antoni to a coaching deal that spans a minimum of 3 years.
The architect of Phoenix’s 7-seconds-or-less offense of past years, D’Antoni’s hire came across as a surprise to many. The Lakers had spent the weekend in negotiations with Phil Jackson concerning a possible return to the Lakers’ sideline. After their meeting on Saturday morning with the Jackson, the Lakers were nearly certain that “the Zen Master” would be replacing the recently fired Mike Brown. Jackson reportedly asked for talks between his agent and LA to reconvene on Monday for further discussion.
One of the issues reportedly raised was that of Jackson’s affinity with the triangle offense.
Sources told ESPN that Jackson’s triangle offense was seen as a benefit to Bryant and Pau Gasol, but not as conducive to the rest of the players on the roster — namely point guard Steve Nash and center Dwight Howard.
via ESPN LA
Evidently, Lakers management also saw the triangle as a bit like the Princeton offense: it’s just too complicated for this team.
What’s left to be answered is how D’Antoni is going to utilize players with talent of this variety. That’s a PC way of wondering how in the world D’Antoni plans on managing this team around Bryant’s, shall we say “persistent”, style of play?
One thing’s for sure, Jackson was just as surprised as anyone else.