Jerry West: “There’s Far Too Much Criticism” of Mike D’Antoni

Jerry West: “There’s Far Too Much Criticism” of Mike D’Antoni


There has been endless heat on Mike D’Antoni since he was brought in by the Lakers to replace the nixed Mike Brown. The thought of reuniting D’Antoni with his longtime point guard from their former team, Steve Nash, was an opportunity Lakers’ management didn’t want to pass up.

However, after a season of struggles, ups and downs and countless injuries, D’Antoni has been unpopular with the fans. The “We Want Phil” chants that loudly echoed through the stands at Staples Center during Shaq’s jersey retirement ceremony illustrated this concept. This talk has continued despite Mitch Kupchak saying that D’Antoni will be the coach next season.

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Laker legend Jerry West talked to Max Kellerman and Marcellus Wiley on ESPN710 on Monday and shared his feelings on the current coaching matter for the Lakers:

The conversation regarding the coaching topic seems to always circle around the notion that the vast majority of fans believed that Phil Jackson should have been hired, and the Lakers and its players would probably not be at this point (of struggles) if he was the head coach instead of D’Antoni. Jerry West replied:

Jerry West’s point was why keep hammering on this topic if it never happened? Would have the Lakers’ record been better if Phil Jackson was hired back in November? Probably. Yet, the fact is that this is the reality of the Lakers right now, and the Lakers need to work with what they have to fight during the playoffs.

It was recently reported that Phil Jackson was itching to return to the NBA in some sort of capacity, whether that is a coaching position or a spot in the front office or both. Since the end of the regular season, Jackson’s name has been popping up everywhere from teams who have interest in hiring the most successful coach in the NBA.


In case you missed it, here’s Lakers Nation’s reporter chat with Lakers beat writer Mark Medina.

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