I don’t think Mike D’Antoni gets it. He gets a lot of things, as he is a decently successful basketball coach, but he doesn’t get it. “It” being the wildly high expectations he has to meet and surpass as the Los Angeles Lakers head coach.
The Lakers didn’t need a coach, they needed an expectations manager. He would basically do the same thing a coach does, except he would understand that his team is built for a title now (not even for tomorrow). By saying you’ve failed if the Lakers aren’t “in the hunt”, well, you’ve failed already. The Memphis Grizzlies want to be “in the hunt”. The Houston Rockets want to be “in the hunt”. The Los Angeles Lakers’ fans believe their team is already at the top of the Western Conference food chain. Do you, Mike? Via ESPN Radio:
“I’m going to do everything I can do to win a championship,” D’Antoni said Tuesday on ESPN radio. “If we’re not at least in the hunt, a serious hunt, then I’ve failed as a head coach. I’m comfortable with that.”
“I was surprised in the sense that it seemed like a natural fit,” D’Antoni said. “But you never know what happens, so I’m not here to judge one way or the other. I know he’s a great coach. Has been, will be, one of the best if not the best ever.”
I’m sorry, a “serious hunt”. My mistake. Because a serious hunt involves what, a Western Conference Finals appearance? Do you even know what team you’re coaching, Mike? You have failed if Kobe Bryant can’t start accessorizing his second hand in June. It’s Larry O’Brien or bust in Laketown.
[h/t SI.com, Getty Images]