The decision to hire Mike D'Antoni as head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers first "stunned" former Lakers coach Phil Jackson, but has also caused the Hall of Fame coach to express why he felt he got the raw deal of the things.
According to Mike Bresnahan of The L.A. Times, Jackson said he was "physically much stronger" and was prepared to take the Lakers head coaching job this past Monday.
He said that after a meeting Saturday with team vice president Jim Buss and General Manager Mitch Kupchak, he was given the impression that he had until Monday to come back with his decision.
But when he received a midnight Sunday phone call that the team was moving forward with D'Antoni, he was left with questions, but with no answers.
"I wish it would have been a little bit cleaner," Jackson said in a Monday night telephone interview with The Times. "It would have been much more circumspect and respectful of everybody that's involved. It seemed slimy to be awoken with this kind of news. It's just weird."
The Lakers responded with this explanation to their decision:
"After speaking with several excellent and well-respected coaching candidates, Dr. Buss, Jim and I all agreed that Mike was the right person at this time to lead the Lakers forward," Kupchak said in a statement Monday, referring to Jim Buss and also team owner Jerry Buss.
Jerry Buss considered D'Antoni's high-scoring offense to being the offense of the future and baring a slight resemblance to the Lakers' high-scoring past, like the 1980's team made of players as Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar who earned the nickname "Showtime".
With veteran point guard Steve Nash controlling the tempo on the floor, then it's quite possible. Nash lead the Phoenix Suns to four consecutive 54 wins or more seasons under D'Antoni's offense.
That Phoenix starting lineup, however, doesn't compare to the lineup of this Lakers team made of Nash, Kobe Bryant, Metta World Peace, Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard. With this lineup running a fast paced offense, there should be no explanation to not see a high-scoring game.
Though the Lakers are talented, Jackson saw problems that he wanted to have corrected. Jackson felt that the Lakers had the personnel to represent the Western Conference in the NBA Finals, but wasn't sure if they could handle the East champions.
However, the Lakers have gotten very good becoming a high-scoring offense already under the Princeton system of former coach Mike Brown.
Under Brown and the Princeton, the Lakers ranked sixth in the NBA in offensive efficiency with nearly 105 points per 100 possessions, more than a point per 100 possessions better than last season.
Offense is not an issue really for the Lakers, it's more so defense.
Rotations on assignments of defense have been late and as a result the Lakers have given up 94.5 points per-game thus far this season, ranking them in them in the top half of the league.