When news broke on Friday that the Los Angeles Lakers had fired Mike Brown just 5 games into the season, the majority of NBA writers and just fans in general said the same thing: “Hello, Mike D’Antoni.” But stating the obvious is only fun if you write for NPR, so a bunch of us felt like speculating. For example, I said that Indiana Pacers associate head coach Brian Shaw would be the top candidate because he was the hot name for four coaching vacancies in the offseason, but that made little sense because C) nobody hired him then, and 6) the Pacers aren’t just going to let an important part of the coaching staff walk to another team with the season underway.
But then the PJ bomb was dropped, and we spent the weekend just waiting for the announcement that Phil Jackson was returning to coaching. Obviously, it made sense, because the Lakers have a stacked roster and Jackson loves to conveniently coach stacked rosters. It was eventually reported that Jackson allegedly wanted specific things like a 2-year deal, Scottie Pippen on his coaching staff and travel exemptions, which is ridiculous, because no coach deserves to be able to miss games when he feels like it.
Thankfully, we don’t have to bother debating that, because Jackson is out of the picture and the Lakers have hired D’Antoni. Of course, some people aren’t happy about that choice. Namely Jackson.