Last night was Shaq’s big night. The Lakers retired his jersey, and bigshots like Phil Jackson were there to mark the occasion. Being that Shaq enjoyed the greatest success of his career under Jackson, he prominently thanked the coach during his remarks to the adoring crowd. And that adoring crowd might have adored Jackson even more than it adored Shaq. And they were not shy about showing it in the least:
Nice that they show Jackson how loved he is… of course, Jackson doesn’t actually coach the Lakers. The guy who does – and was chosen over Jackson in the middle of this season, no less – is Mike D’Antoni… who was obviously in the building (if not out on the floor) when this went down, and probably heard it. And if he didn’t hear it, he definitely heard about it. Luckily, since D’Antoni coached the Lakers rather successfully last night, to the tune of a 101-81 win over the Mavs, he could laugh about it:
D’Antoni on the “We Want Phil” chants: “He’s only won 58 rings. Why wouldn’t they?”
— J.A. Adande (@jadande) April 3, 2013
Still, just more proof that it’s not a Lakers season – and specifically not this Lakers season – without some weird drama along the way. Somehow, some way, it still looks like that season will probably end in a playoff berth… though if the Lakers make a quick exit (and given who they’ll likely face in the first round should they make it, let’s face it, they probably will), the fans will be calling for Phil more loudly than ever.