So much for getting the band back together: Lakers choose D’Antoni over Jackson as their next head coach

The Blues Brothers is one of the most forgotten and underrated comedies of our generation. 

In the late 1970s, John Belushi’s desire to form a soul band comprised of old Stax musicians was treated with a healthy amount of skepticism.  How could an overweight, drug-addicted crazy man with the reputation for doing the unthinkable before millions of live television viewers make this project work?

As it turned out, Belushi was right.  His movie was a smashing success, grossing over $100 million.

This weekend in Los Angeles, there was another group of all-stars looking to “get the band back together” but in the end, decided a reunion tour was not the way to go.

After only five games into this NBA season, the Los Angeles Lakers fired head coach Mike Brown.  To save their sinking ship, they checked the coaching want ads in an effort to create some sweet music of their own.  Allegedly, they had one big name in mind.

Phil Jackson, the Zen Master and proud owner of eleven championship rings (thirteen if you include his two as a Knick power forward), was one of the coaches pinpointed to take over the mess that had become the Los Angeles Lakers.

News of the potential Jackson hiring shook the league louder than any Blues Brothers concert ever could.  NBA fans nationwide immediately started debating whether the return of the Zen would have resulted in a Lakers championship with most thinking that was a foregone conclusion.

In the end, those arguments were moot.  The Lakers hired Mike D’Antoni instead.

Let’s make one thing clear.  There were question marks with either hire.  The better teams in the league were not about to hand the Lakers a title just because Jackson was back on the sidelines.  He’s 67 years old, recovering from knee surgery and although one of, if not the greatest professional basketball coach of all time, still faced a team overloaded with dysfunction.

On a team already characterized by drama, it’s not like Jackson doesn’t bring a little of his own.  He’s romantically involved with the team owner’s daughter, has already had his run-ins with Kobe and while he may have eleven championships, he only has two in the past ten years.  Phil supporters, however, would argue that’s still two more than D’Antoni.

Either way, you have to hand it to the Lakers.  They sure like to make a splash.  They are one of the few organizations in professional sports that make no bones about winning at any cost.  Like the New York Yankees, the Dallas Cowboys and several other high-profile franchises, the Lakers expect to be the last team standing every year.  Second place is no substitute.  And like those other teams, the Lakers have the wherewithal to make that a reality.  The off-season acquisitions of Steve Nash and Dwight Howard let everyone know the Buss family would not sit idly by while the Miami Heat skated to another title.

Mike D’Antoni, not Phil Jackson, is now in charge of making sure that doesn’t happen.

So much for getting the band back together even though it was fun to talk about while it lasted.   D’Antoni now has until June to right this Lakers ship.  If he doesn’t, Lakers fans won’t be the only ones singing the blues.

49 thoughts on “So much for getting the band back together: Lakers choose D’Antoni over Jackson as their next head coach

  1. Pingback: So much for getting the band back together: Lakers choose D’Antoni over Jackson as their next head coach - BallHyped Blog Network, NBA | BallHyped Sports Blogs

  2. The very best dialogue in the movie:
    Elwood: It’s 106 miles to Chicago. We’ve got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it’s dark, and we’re wearing sunglasses.

    Joliet Jake: Hit it!

  3. As for who’s the better coach for the Lakers? Maybe no one. It could be a chemistry issue. Never forget the 2003-04 Lakers “dream team.”

  4. Me, Snake?

    Never.

    You know I like a more mature woman.

    But remember in that very same restaurant scene, Belushi tosses shrimp cocktail into Aykroyd’s mouth from across the table?

    Or was it the other way around?

    Yeah, I can see I’m gonna have to go buy the DVD. It’s been way too long.

  5. Snake…

    That’s what would scare me if I were a Lakers fan, which I’m obviously not. I have far more class than that.

    I’m not exactly sure who was the better hire but I will say this. D’Antoni probably has more desire to win a title at this point than Phil.

    We’ll see if that matter in June.

  6. The Lakers move the meter, Chris.

    Not quite sure the Grizz do anywhere outside of Memphis itself.

    Think about it.

    We’ve had some pretty momentous weekends of football lately and the Lakers’ moves CONTINUE to grab the headlines.

    I guess drama sells.

  7. Just a couple of points I’d like to interject if I may. First, the decision was a surprise to Laker fans, of which I am one,( snake), and proud to be…even in tough times. Second, for all the haters out there, you need to worry about OKC. Even without Hardin, they will need to be recond with. Third, as was pointed out, it really doesn’t matter what they do, they continue to grab headlines. Look folks, here in what in the west in what is oft referred to as LA LA land, there is bound to be drama. It is after all home to Hollywood. So get your popcorn and beverage of choice and let’s watch the rest of this NBA movie season.

  8. How much “kush” have Kupchak and Jim Buss been smoking ? I guess Jeanie and her elder sibling will no longer be on speaking terms after their blowing off her boyfriend Phil Jackson ? Can you imagine that Thanksgiving meal when the Buss family will be gathered together ?

    “Happy Thanksgiving Jeanie ” . Jerry and Jim Buss

    ” You know what Dad and Jim , why don’t the two of you go $$#k yourselves ” ! Jeanie Buss

    Long term or short term Phil or his former assistant Brian Shaw would have been a better candidate .

    As for the Lakers’ asinine formal statement suggesting that DAntoni was their man and a better fit than Phil . That’s like suggesting that Isiah Thomas was a far better player than Jordan . WTF !

    “Sleepless in Seattle” , absolutely fu#king clueless in LA !

    Tophatal …………..

  9. Like Phil , I too was blindsided by this betrayal ! What a joke . As I said in an earlier comment , Thanksgiving Dinner with the Buss family will be fun at some point during the festivities .

    Nothing like a good throw down , NASCAR mechanics throwing punches like a bunch of damn drag queens on weed .

    They have now finished the counting of the popular vote in Florida . Too bad , because a slew of lawyers now feel slighted because they won’t be earning any money in seeking to take the issue to the courts in Florida .

    I see Trump was once again exposed as a fraud and butthead ! Nothing new there at all . How can this as#hole carry on with his continued diatribe ? His claims of his mens’ apparel line is all made in the US has come to light being false. So what does the bas#ard do , claim he was unaware of it all. All of proverbial bull#hit , has now come down to this . Clearly anal retentive as he is , humility will be never be a trait of his . Bazza must be laughing up and down 1600 Pennsylvania Ave after this guffaw by the coiffured moron !

    Bucs lay a can of whup a#s on the Chargers but the Spanos’ family will continue to stick with Norv Turner .

    Chiefs’ coach Romeo Crennel demands better of his players and has now began to give them post-it messages , with words of inspiration . It’s clearly not working for the players or the organization as a whole .

    Tophatal …………….

  10. Mony…

    Now ESPN is reporting that even D’Antoni was surprised by the hire? How can that be? Weren’t they in negotiations with him?

    I gotta say, ESPN really bungled coverage of this whole affair from top to bottom. The network itself was giving conflicting reports about what happened.

    Either way, at this point, I just want to see what the guy can do.

    Oh, and there will be pressure.

  11. Well, Al, all D’Antoni has to do is win and all will be forgotten.

    And he will.

    Trust me, once they find their groove, the Lakers will go on a nice double-digit win streak.

    But you and I both know it’s how they handle those seven-game series in the playoffs that’s going to matter most.

  12. Al…

    I saw that NASCAR scuffle on TV yesterday but the camera angle was like from a damn blimp or something. Can’t we get some cameras on the ground?

    The Bucs are faring pretty well against the AFC West, 3-0 so far, man, but they’re saving the best for last: A December 2nd trip to Denver to see Peyton Manning.

    The Bucs are really gonna need this game in Carolina to stay on course because they have the Falcons and Broncos after that.

  13. I am not as optimistic as you on the Lakers ! A DAntioni coached team has never been known to play defense . I hear that Zeke (Isiah Thomas) is inquiring to see if Mike has a vacant coaching position on his staff ?

    The Bucs are now proving to be really resilient and their upcoming schedule could very well be a determining factor as how the team will fare .

    Petraeus’ biographer is on the line , she’s about to make an appointment with me , so we can get started on my memoirs . LOL,LOL,LOL !!! Chapter 1 , entitled “layin’ the pipe” .

    Marty Schottenheimer is back in the NFL , as a front office adviser to the Chiefs. Now what ?

    Does that now mean we will see the return of Shula to the Dolphins , in some capacity ?

    Your thoughts on the chances of “Pricey” winning the . AL Cy Young ?

    Tophatal ……………..

  14. D Antoni gets three years $12 million and Brown is still owed $14 million on the remainder of his contract . Obviously the Lakers have their own printing press , to go along with that $3 billion tv deal in their local market .

  15. Al…

    When it comes to the Lakers, I’m almost like “Let them play.” These guys are all professionals and likely Hall of Famers. How can they not know what to do?

    It’ll take ‘em some time to get to know where each other likes the ball on the floor but I think either D’Antoni or Jackson would have succeeded with this team. The question is would they have both won a title. I guess we’ll find out soon enough whether D’Antoni can.

    And I do like Price winning the Cy Young. I think he was the most consistent pitcher all season long.

  16. Mitch Kupchak is a law unto himself . In terms of building this organization who was the primary architect that built this success , Kupchak or Jerry West ?

    Lakers’ draft history , is there anything there that impresses you when you look down the list of players over the last eight to ten years ?

    Kupchak on his best day couldn’t spell the word talent , much less spot it . Now he, and both Buss’s (Jerry & Jim) hire DAntoni over Phil . ? They still owe Mike Brown $14 million including incentives (although only one incentive was reached) . .

    This Lakers ‘ team should they fail to make the playoffs , they will be looking for another new coach . The Lakers have now become the NBA’s answer to the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys . An itinerant owner and dumb a#s general manager . Need one say anymore on the matter .

  17. Price has been excellent throughout much of the season , but I believe he may well beaten out by either Verlander or Jered Weaver , for the Cy Young .

    Rome Crennel is demanding more of his players . Isn’t that all a little too late at this juncture for the Chiefs’ players ?

    The Marlins have started their fire sale I see ? They signed Jose Reyes to a mutltimillion dollar multiyear contract and now they’re shipping him off with 5 other players to the Toronto Blue Jays , in exchange for some prospects . And people wondered why I bailed on this pi#s ant organization . Here is another reason why , as the front office have simply duped the public once again .

    There’s no truth to the rumor that Kupchak’s next move will be re-sign Kareem, Worthy and Magic for the remainder of the Lakers’ 2012-13 schedule .

    Tophatal ………

  18. Bickerstaff is there to boost the morale of the players on the Lakers’ roster .

    Former Bucs’ player Jerramy Stephens in trouble with the law again . He and his fiancee` US soccer goalie Hope Solo , were both busted for domestic violence in Seattle , Washington .

    The Pats for the moment should count themselves lucky , that Aqib Talib hasn’t been allowed to bring a handgun to work .

    Speaking of guns , students at UT , and USF would like to be allowed to bring guns unto the campus for their protection . So no lessons were learned after the Virginia Tech massacre ?

    Tophatal ………..

  19. Al…

    There’s no denying or even comparing West’s legacy to Kupchak’s within that organization. And the Lakers don’t draft. They trade. Heck, they didn’t even draft Kobe, they just traded for him.

    Either way, he’s gonna have his thumbprints all over this team but the Buss’ apparently have his back so he has job security. I doubt it was his idea solely to hire D’Antoni.

  20. Al…

    I honestly think Price’s numbers compare favorably to Weaver’s and Verlander’s, plus he I feel he was more important to his team. But of course, I’m biased.

    Is Romeo Crennel ever going to coaching a winning team? I mean, the guy’s 27-49 career as a head coach in the league. But I guess if you coach only the Chiefs and Browns, that’s going to happen.

    Kid Sheraton, my Marlins buddy, is really upset with what’s happening with that team. I heard last night that they’re roster is currently at $30 million. What’s up with that?!?

  21. Al…

    Did you just say Jerramy Stephens is seeing Hope Solo? Boy, does THAT sound like a fun dinner party.

    And guns and campus, huh? What’s the world coming to?

  22. You’re absolutely right about the Blues Brothers…what a great movie and one of the first that I really understood what it meant to laugh hard at a film.

    Who knows about this decision to go with Mike D’Antoni…I know that the taste it is leaving in my mouth isn’t a good one right now.

  23. I was just reading Jerramy Stevens’ rap sheet. Its longer than his dick, and that’s probably saying alot. The guy is a train wreck. He should have been put away 10 years ago. Just another example of how our society puts felon/athletes on a higher level than us ordinary folks.

  24. Jed…

    These are the kind of moments where I’d like to be a fly on the wall. What was said in the meeting between Kupchack and Phil? What was said between Kupchack and D’Antoni? Where were Jim and Jeanie Buss? And importantly for the sports glutton inside of all of us, what kind of food and drink was served?

  25. I still don’t know how I couldn’t have known about this guy. And these were just the acts in which he was caught.

    From Wikipedia:
    On June 2, 1998, Stevens was arrested on charges of second-degree assault armed with a deadly weapon and fourth-degree assault. According to a police report, Stevens and a friend engaged in a fight with a 17-year-old and witnesses said Stevens stomped on the man’s face. Stevens agreed to a plea deal of a charge of misdemeanor assault.

    On July 10, 1998, Stevens tested positive for marijuana and served a day in jail.

    On July 27, 2000, Stevens was arrested for the sexual assault of a 19-year-old University of Washington freshman. Stevens initially denied having sex with the accuser, but later admitted to having sex with her in the yard of a fraternity house in the early morning hours of June 4, 2000, after a fraternity party, but maintained it was consensual. However, a UW student who walked by and witnessed them having sex called 911 to report it as a possible rape, noting that the woman appeared to be drugged; he described her as “half passed out … eyes glazed … no one home.” Stevens’s semen was found in the victim, who was penetrated vaginally and anally, and numerous witnesses testified that she acted as if drugged at the party. Police suspected a date rape drug was given to the woman at the party, but blood samples were taken too late for testing.

    Despite these suspicions, the King County prosecutor declined to file rape charges against Stevens due to “confusing and conflicting statements”.
    A civil suit, which resulted in a settlement, was later filed by the victim. The civil settlement was not publicly disclosed, but according to published reports included a $300,000 payment by Stevens to the plaintiff. The investigation and aftermath of this incident and the subsequent decision to not charge Stevens were reported by the Seattle Times.

    On May 4, 2001, Stevens was cited for reckless driving and hit and run after crashing into a nursing home. Stevens pleaded guilty to hit-and-run and causing property damage and was sentenced to 240 hours of community service.

    On April 3, 2003, Stevens was stopped by Medina, Washington police and was charged with reckless driving and driving while intoxicated. He pleaded guilty to reckless driving and was fined $1,000 and was sentenced to two days in jail because the judge ruled Stevens violated his probation from the hit-and-run case.

    On March 13, 2007, Stevens was arrested in Scottsdale, Arizona for suspicion of DUI after his blood alcohol content was measured at 0.204, over twice the legal limit of .08 and considered “extreme DUI” in Arizona. He was later found guilty in a court trial, and was subsequently sentenced to 12 days in jail and fined $3,160. This sentence was later decreased to 10 days by a Scottsdale city judge.

    On March 20, 2007, the Seattle Times reported that multiple complaints were raised against Stevens by other residents in his condominium complex. The complaints included vomit on their doors, used condoms on the back porch, loud parties at all hours of the night, and various noise complaints.

    On October 23, 2010, Stevens was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana. Stevens had been pulled over for playing loud music, when the officer smelled marijuana, and discovered 38 grams of it in his car.

    On March 3, 2011, Stevens was arrested and charged with felony battery for punching two bouncers in a Tampa, Florida bar. According to his attorney, who denied the charges, after Stevens was released from jail, he was treated for “multiple broken ribs and extensive bruising to his body and face.”

    On November 12, 2012, Stevens was arrested on investigation of assault following an altercation that left his fiancée, soccer star Hope Solo injured.

  26. The Lakers lost again to the Spurs last night. D’Antoni is being asked to turn water into wine in terms of the team’s chemistry. He turns this around and the Lakers will be in the Finals.

  27. Great win for Price ! Now let’s see what the Rays will with regard to incentives for the player .

    With regard to Stephens they (cops) found him with a busted lip hiding under a bed after his future brother-in-law had called the cops not to answer a domestic violence call but to actually escort two uninvited guests at a party being held for Solo and Stephens’ engagement party .

    Loria is now trying to suggest that the Marlins’ sale isn’t being done because of a disappointing season but because the players involved just weren’t a right fit for the team this past season. What was that ? Not the right fit ? The franchise added $ 135 million in payroll but in multiple trades have decided to get back to ” bargain basics” in terms of the makeup of the roster for next season . What a f###$ing awful organization !


    Marlins’ trades this season

    Anything piquing your interests concerning the Gators this weekend ?

    The Bucs should be set for a win against Carolina in a divisional ——- game this Sunday in Charlotte , North Carolina .

    Your thoughts on the following ?

    Fu#k you Bud Selig , and the rest of the lying mother-f##king cronies of the Miami Marlins !

    Game rewind

    Tophatal ………………….

  28. BS…

    I’m not so sure that’s just water.

    That Lakers team is loaded with talent. It’s just a matter of molding them into a team that can compete for a championship.

    Phil may have wanted that gig but when it all turns sour, which it very well might, he may be thanking his lucky stars he didn’t take the gig.

  29. Al…

    I left you a comment on your Marlins piece.

    If I were a fan of that team, I’d be pretty pissed about what went down.

    You went from having a brand new stadium, a manager with a ring and a roster full of high-priced talent and now, all you have is the stadium, that they can’t fill.

  30. Chris

    I read the comment and thanks ! I abandon the Marlins in 2010, as they’re not worth my time . I am an avowed Braves’ fan , now . Left you my thoughts with regard to your comment . Check back again and let me know if you’re in agreement with my sentiments .

    The new venue has rarely been filled for a Marlins’ game in Miami . The only time it has officially happened was for an exhibition game against the Yankees . prior to the official opening of Marlins Stadium .

    The biggest joke here , is when you have dic#keads such as Buster Olney and Tim Kurkjian talking about baseball’s finances , when it is clears those a#sholes haven’t a mutha-###king clue what they’re talking about .

    Pricey knocked it out of the park with the AL Cy Young awards’ win and deservedly so !

    Fu#k you Bud Selig , and the rest of the lying mother-f##king cronies of the Miami Marlins !

    Tophatal …………

  31. Seems like a strange hire in the sense that the Lakers are an aging team. It will certainly be interesting to see how it plays out.

  32. Yea, Al, Marlins fans are not happy and rightfully so.

    So is the owner going to shop for talent or what? And at this point, who in their right mind would want to play there?

  33. Tim…

    That’s the problem. This team has yet to form any sort of identity.

    I’m assuming that Kupchak and company want an uptempo style which is why they hired D’Antoni to begin with.

    Nash, Kobe and Gasol are old but they can still force tempo. This team might be able to win that way. I’m not so sure they can win consistently in the half court game.

    Gasol and Dwight have yet to learn how to play with one another on the court.

    I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

    This could still get uglier before it gets any better.

  34. Chris

    I am surprised that they’re not hanging or burning effigies of Jeff Loria , his stepson David Sansom , team President Larry Beinfest and GM Michael Hill , outside of Marlins Ballpark ! Need I remind you that the US Justice Dept investigation of the city of Miami is still ongoing , concerning how the they went about in raising the financing for the venue . This all had Loria’s and Bud Selig’s grubby paw prints all over that whole process . Now both executives are remaining extremely silent while Tomas Regaladao (mayor) and the Miami city commission comes under a great deal of fire for the $775 million facility that was barely filled this past season .

    Now if the city is unable to meet the obligations of that bond issue the city’s residents will be left on the hook for that debt . Never mind that the city of Miami has massive debt crisis already on their hands .

    And you’ve been talking that either Hillsborough or Pinellas County should build a venue for the Rays. Where would the county governmental agencies get that money from ? They both appeal to the state of Florida for money by way of the hotel taxes ? You’ve never stated how the Rays should be facilitated with a new venue at all .

    Tophatal ……..

  35. Chris

    Loria’s shopping for talent ? Only unless he’s thinking of purchasing either J C Penney or Hostess Brands , two companies , soon to be entering bankruptcy given their precarious financial state .

    It would not, now surprise me , if Jeffrey Loria starts to finagle the books to show that the Marlins are close to bankruptcy !

    All of this once again happening under not so ever watchful eye of Bud Selig . And that mutha-f##ker is being paid in excess of $20 million to preside over the game, as MLB commissioner ? Yet you have so called respected baseball analysts and journalists such as Tim Kurkjian and Buster Olney not saying a mutha-fu$$ing thing on this issue , never mind an a##hole like Selig .

    Baseball has never had any credibility whatsoever !

    Tophatal …………

  36. Al…

    Which is exactly why we have to commend all parties involved in the Tampa Bay area for not jumping the gun to build a brand new stadium. I’d much rather let this thing run its course so that it’s done the right way.

    And how about what the Blue Jays have been doing in the off-season? Between their additions, Detroit and the Rangers, not to mention whatever the Yankees, Red Sox and Angels can put together, the American League will be no walk in the park in 2013.

  37. I’d feel a lot better about this hiring if the Lakers would also hire Nate McMillan to be the defensive coordinator. I don’t want to watch a season full of 100+ points being given up each game. At least D’Antoni won’t waste Steve Nash like Mike Brown was doing.

  38. JM…

    D’Antoni’s going to have nearly a full season to see what he can do with this team.

    It’s when they get deep into the playoffs that we’re going to start having our doubts.

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