Jerry West: “There’s Far Too Much Criticism” of Mike D’Antoni Reviewed by Momizat on . 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 l 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 l Rating:
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Jerry West: “There’s Far Too Much Criticism” of Mike D’Antoni

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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.


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About The Author

Elizabeth is a graduate from Arizona State University and has her master's from Duquesne University. She is currently an associate editor at Lakers Nation. To read more of Elizabeth's articles click here. You can also follow Elizabeth on Twitter @Gobibs

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  • KcS

    Do people actually think Jerry West is going to get on TV and start criticizing that stupid coach? Of course not, it’s just “TV talk”, similar to how Kupchak mentioned he’ll keep D’umbtoni which is also far from the actual truth. Just remember what happened to Mike Brown. Lakers are where they are now b/c of the players and Kobe-driven adjustments, not the coach.

    • hookedonnews

      Jerry West has no reason to lie. Others have been critical. You just can’t accept the truth when you hear it. And no, Lakers are not where they are because the players/Kobe are running the team. They have a good coach, and he’s doing his job. If you watched the games you would know this. Kobe may think he’s the coach, but he’s not. Firing Mike D’Antoni after all the injuries, etc. would be beyond ridiculous. Not going to happen.

      • nlruizjr

        hookedonnews, what exactly is your definition of a “good coach”, over playing his veteran players is not exactly a good decision and just shows that he was coaching “scared to lose” basketball. If it weren’t exactly for injuries, Dumbtoni and the Lakers for that matter would have never discovered the talent of one E. Clark, and just what was his beef with Ebanks, don’t tell me that Ebanks would not have been a good defensive replacement for MWP, although his offense was alittle weak but with more minutes that could have been improved, after all he was good enough to play for PJ and Dumbtoni is no PJ. Face it Dumbtoni belongs in the D-League, he has proven that with every team he has coached in the NBA, he failed. That Amigo, is not a good sign of a good coach.

        • hookedonnews

          If you listened to what the coach said, you would know that the reason for the shortened rotation was that they were basically in playoff mode for 3 months. They had to win every game just to get into the playoffs. You saw what happened when the bench players were put in after Nash and Blake went down. It was common knowledge from the beginning of the season that they had a lousy bench. Who do you think is in the best position to evaluate players–the coaches who see them every day or someone like you who might see them play 5 minutes? You obviously are not familiar with D’Antoni’s record. He was Coach of the Year in Phoenix and beat Phil Jackson’s Lakers at least twice in the playoffs to go to the Western Conference Finals. He is a good coach, and anyone who knows basketball knows that. The Heat and Knicks (along with numerous other teams) run some form of his system.

  • http://www.facebook.com/markeyse.j.mundy Markeyse Jamar Mundy

    Don’t forget that Jerry West doesn’t like Phil either!

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