Mike D’Antoni Says Lakers Looking For More Athleticism This Offseason

Mike D’Antoni Says Lakers Looking For More Athleticism This Offseason


CoachDAntoniWith the recent signings of Nick Young and Wesley Johnson, it’s apparent the Lakers are looking for added athleticism in their backcourt and on the roster as a whole. That lack of athleticism was certainly something that impacted the team a season ago, and was one of several reasons the team struggled – especially against younger, quicker teams. At NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, Laker head coach Mike D’Antoni admitted that these moves were made in an attempt to counteract these deficiencies.

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According to Drew Garrison of Silver Screen & Roll, D’Antoni emphasized athleticism when asked about the recent L.A. acquisitions.

“We tried to get more athletic to be able to run up and down a little bit,” D’Antoni said when asked about both Young and Johnson.

With all the talk regarding the D’Antoni system, and his desire to move the ball and push the pace offensively, these types of players seem to make the most sense. Young, athletic guards that can shoot and spread the floor are something the Lakers were missing a season ago, and the hope is that Young and Johnson can help counteract that a little bit.

There aren’t many spots left on the team roster, and after Young and Johnson came aboard there is even less room for more wing players. But D’Antoni and the Lakers are still looking for (cheap) options to help fill the holes in the current roster.


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  • Laker J

    What about DEFENSE? Is that even part of the system? No championship team can do it without the D word! Even the Showtime Lakers were a very good defensive team. D’Antoni will be exposed this season and it will be his last.

    • Daryl Peek

      Getting younger and quicker helps the defense also. Kaman is no Howard but he’s not chopped liver either. .A healthier Gasol will be much better defensively also.

      Howard was an absolute detriment to the teams chemistry! He hated Kobe so much he flat out refused to run pick and roll with Nash or Kobe. Pick and roll is Howard’s strength as a center. McHale runs the same system as D’Antoni and Howard will thrive in it where he destroyed it here in LA.

    • KreepyA$$Kracker

      It’s D’Antoni, he has defense, he just doesn’t know how to implement it in games.

      • hookedonnews

        The Lakers had a good defensive coordinator this season who was in charge of defense. He’s now the coach of the Bobcats. The players know what to do. They just weren’t doing it consistently. There are a lot of reasons for that, but bottom line–it’s on the players. D’Antoni put a lot of emphasis on defense this season (if you heard what he and other coaches were saying), but the players are responsible for what goes on in the game.

    • jody chappell

      I hope it is his last. Look back at the Laker teams that won championships in ’09 & ’10. Their rotation’s and defensive pressure & intensity were so suffocating that great players like Pierce,Garnett & Allen were shut down. Everyone played defense then too, Kobe wasn’t walking back while arguing calls. Everyone was accountable. There is not one NBA team that has won a championship playing poor defense yet he thinks he will break the chain after all these years. Pure ego. D’Antoni out

  • KcS

    Look at this clown STILL talking about running “up and down” the floor and not mentioning a thing about defense. Somebody dump this stupid ass Dumbtoni of a coach and it’s time for Lakers to hire an actual coach like Phil Jackson or someone of his nature.

    • Jim213

      Agreed, but let’s be honest too, Phil ain’t coming back with Jim Bust. Second option would be to bring J West back but given that Dr. Buss reneged from giving him a small chunk of the Lakers team I don’t know if he’d like to come back though this would be doubtful too.

    • hookedonnews

      Does he have to mention defense in every sentence, or is he allowed to talk about offense? You have to run up and down the floor to get back on defense anyway. I don’t know why you and a bunch of other people still don’t understand that D’Antoni is the coach the Lakers want. Phil Jackson is not physically able to coach, and I don’t know anyone out there who would be comparable to Jackson. If you were listening to D’Antoni this season he talked constantly about defense. Did you know that the Lakers had a defensive coordinator? He is now the Bobcats coach. Stop drinking the Kool-Aid. D’Antoni cares about defense. He’s aware this is not 2004, but evidently most people assume he still believes it is.

  • Jim213

    Duh really… Dumbtoni, we can see this however some fans have mentioned that Dumbtoni tweaked his style of offense but looks like the Lakers may possibly be a run an gun team next season. Why would Dumbtoni know any different given his years of coaching along with preferred style of play.

  • Marty Susman

    The Laker have 7 things that NEED to be done NOW !!!!!!

    1st thing.

    1.Trade Gasol for 1st round draft picks below 10 & 20.
    2.Trade Nash for 1st ound pick below 15.
    3.Trade Blkake for below 30 1st round pick.
    4.Fire coach before he screws up chances of free agents wanting to come next year.
    5. Hire Byron Scott as head coach.
    6. Hire D. Fish, N. Nixon, J. Salley, K. Jabbar, K, Rambus as asst. & free agents will line up to be a Laker.
    7. Curb Jim Buss or put him in charge of consessions at Staples & bring in Phil to replace him.

    That’s what NEEDS to be done NOW !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • hookedonnews

      None of that is happening as far as I know except the slim possibility that Rambis might be hired as an assistant coach. No one can “curb” Jim Buss. He was put in that job by Dr. Buss. Nash is not going to be traded, and neither is Blake (at least not right now). I don’t see Gasol going anywhere either, although I wouldn’t object depending on what they got in return. Lakers are not known for building through draft picks, at least not in recent years. They are looking to acquire stars in 2014.

      • Marty Susman

        They have ZERO to build on & that’s GREAT… Kobe & ZERO means they will have money for possibly two great players, lets say Cousins & Wall. That leaves then in the position of needed to fill out the team not only for thhat year but for the future… They can once again go for older used up players other teams don’t want or go to the draft…. Trading Gasol & Nash will in fact help that to happen in trading them for 1st runders…

        • hookedonnews

          They are not trading Steve Nash whatever you believe about it. He’s still one of the top PGs in the league, and the best shooter on the team and one of the best in the league. He is the ideal person to mentor a young PG if they get one. Even someone like John Wall or Kyrie Irving can learn from Steve Nash. I’m sure there will be money for more than 2 players, and let’s see how the players they have work out. Not everyone on the Heat is a superstar. As I said, I have no problem trading Gasol depending on what they could get for him, but it doesn’t look like they are going to trade him either. I wanted them to get Iguodala myself, but of course, that’s wasn’t possible because of the cap situation. I don’t think the Lakers have Kobe and ZERO. The expectations this season were unreasonably high. No reason to go to the opposite extreme next season,

    • Christopher F

      I would like to see Fisher as an assistant coach. I would also like the Lakers to replace Steve Blake with Nate Robinson. Other than that, I don’t see any of these other things happening.

      • ken

        Im cool with Nate, he’s like a pitbull. And he has game. Maybe not the smartest, and is a hot head, but he can help dig you out of a hole if need be.

  • jody chappell

    Priority list before 2014 free agency:
    1) Bring in Jeanie Buss to oversee basketball operations primarily run by GM Mitch Kupchak & Consultant Phil Jackson.
    2) Fire Mike D’Antoni and bring in an effective two way coach (my fav. is Lionel Hollins at present as knows defense, can coach bigs and also knows how to develop young talent)
    3) Add to the coaching staff with Derek Fisher, Byron Scott or Kurt Rambis. People that know about winning in LA is where the emphasis should go.
    4) Get rid of Steve Nash. He cannot play as a starter and the fact that he is getting nearly $10 million to not defend other point guards at 40 is atrocious. Toronto would take him or let him retire.
    5) Re-sign Kobe & Pau but on LAL’s terms. Kobe needs to know that he does not run this franchise. The franchise has to do what is best for the Lakers and not what is best for Kobe Bryant.
    6) Draft a young starlet with their high draft pick. This season under D’Antoni will be a disaster, so a Jabari Parker or Marcus Smart may be on the table for LA come June.
    7) Sign 2 high profile players. One of these should be a superstar like a Lebron (don’t see it) or a ‘Melo (more achievable in my eyes). This will raise the profile of the organisation further and show all other free agents LA is the next Miami. The other free agent acquisition will be a more under the radar top player. A Kyle Lowry would be good at the point or a Luol Deng.
    8) Let Mitch do what Mitch does and sign the finest free agents available to LA on the lowest deals. Hopefully some of the players on the roster will be able to retain like Jordan Hill or Nick Young on $3-4 million per year deals as we need 10 effective players to compete.
    9) Start drafting smarter, it is not a shock that LA is bad at drafting nowadays but in today’s NBA with this new CBA in place we need to be more effective with our money and drafting smarter is the best route. 2nd round picks are always a gamble but there have been plenty of great NBA players that have been drafted late in the first round. Tony Parker at 28, Jimmy Butler at 30, etc. Rookie contracts are extremely kind to salary cap’s as well.

    Fingers crossed guys…. Do these and LA will be the next dynasty!

  • Paytc

    Adding athleticism usually means players who are able to make opponents work harder to defend.If they have to work hard to defend it takes away from their offense.
    And most athletic players have enough athletic ability to defend.I agree with one of Hookedonnews’s points “the players have to produce on both ends of the floor”But it is up to the coach to hold them accountable.The coach must stress the importance of playing hard on both ends of the floor.
    We also need players who play hard night after night,not make excuses.Play hard at home and on the road.The players have to get it done, no matter who the coach is.I am yet to see one coach block a shot ,or score a point that counted.No excuses!

  • SignSasha

    grab Sasha Vujacic he’s a great 3 shooter and defender sign him again mitch/buss please!!

    • Paytc

      Sasha can shoot,but he is not very athletic, or a good defender.