Phil Jackson Dream is Over, Mike D'Antoni Era Begins

Staples Center chants won't bring back Phil Jackson

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
    Former coach of the Los Angeles Lakers Phil Jackson during a news conference at the Lakers training facility on May 11, 2011 in El Segundo.

    The Phil Jackson saga has left a sour taste in the mouths of Lakers fans.

    But no matter how much outrage fans display, Mike D’Antoni is the coach of the Lakers. He's not going anywhere.

    Actually, the early word is that D'Antoni is still on crutches, so he likely will not take charge on the sidelines until Sunday against Houston.

    Still, Jackson's not going to come back, even if the Staples Center crowd chants his name for the rest of the season.

    It's time to let this one go.

    The Lakers might have made a mess of setting expectations for the fans and the media after the firing of coach Mike Brown. The miscommunication was such that the 11-time NBA champion Jackson was left "stunned" on being told D'Antoni had been hired.

    Lakers fans are disappointed, and they have a good cause to be outraged. The greatest coach in basketball history was set to come back to the franchise where he won five championships. However, continuing to express outrage will not change anything.

    It's time to accept D’Antoni and move forward.

    Kobe Bryant called D'Antoni an "offensive genius" and was outwardly thrilled with the hire when he met reporters on Tuesday. He spoke about his experience under D'Antoni, who was an assistant coach with Team USA during the Olympics.

    "The offense that he installed for our USA team was the offense that we ran to the tune of two gold medals," Bryant reminded reporters.

    Bryant also worked to quell fans' concerns regarding defense by stating, "We might have done, in all the years I’ve been with Phil, maybe three defensive drills the entire time."

    Reports suggest D'Antoni will bring in a defensive specialist to balance his offensive mind, and early rumors hint that Nate McMillan may be that man. McMillan was the defensive coach for Team USA, so the Lakers may be upgrading in defense after all.

    Regardless of who is on D'Antoni’s staff, he is now the coach of the Los Angeles Lakers. It is time to let go of the Phil Jackson dream because, at this point, it is no longer a possible reality.