It may not be clear to many after his time with the New York Knicks, but there is no coach better fit to return the Los Angeles Lakers to "Showtime" than former New York Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni, who now has that job. That doesn't mean he was the best choice to take over for Mike Brown, with Hall of Fame coach Phil Jackson the obviously choice there.
But don't see this as "losing out" on The Zen Master. D'Antoni was the second-best option for the Lakers and will quickly propel this star-studded group to the top of the NBA, which is where most observers expected them to live all season after the additions of Steve Nash and Dwight Howard.
There will be Knicks fans laughing today at the Lakers this morning.
"His teams won't play any defense!"
The fact is, D'Antoni's squads never need to be better than middle of the road when the seven-second-or-less system is running on all cylinders. He's also never had defenders like Howard and Kobe Bryant at his disposal during his time with the Phoenix Suns or Knicks.
Knicks fans will also forget how well D'Antoni's system was coming together once he had a point guard (Jeremy Lin) that bought into what he was trying to do. It's no coincidence things were clicking last season while Carmelo Anthony was sidelined by an injury. Melo was never going to buy what his coach was selling, which was never more obvious than when he pushed him out the door earlier this year.
"That style can't survive in the playoffs!"
Except of course when the Suns made the playoffs every season D'Antoni was running the show with the exception of his first. That includes two consecutive trips to the Western Conference Finals. D'Antoni and Nash were denied a third straight appearance only when Stoudemire and Sixth Man of the Year Boris Diaw received a ludicrous one-game suspension with their series against the San Antonio Spurs tied at 2-2 in 2006-07.
None of the teams D'Antoni had in Phoenix in New York had anywhere near the amount of talent he now has with the Lakers. So as much as you might not want to, get ready for the return of "Showtime".