Expect Lakers to Pick Up Pace Under Mike D'Antoni - NBC Southern California

Expect Lakers to Pick Up Pace Under Mike D'Antoni

The hiring reunites Steve Nash with the former Phoenix Suns coach



    Expect Lakers to Pick Up Pace Under Mike D'Antoni
    Mike D'Antoni talks with Steve Nash when both were members of the Phoenix Suns.

    Expect to see a different brand of basketball now that the Lakers have hired offense-minded Mike D'Antoni as their head coach in an effort to turn around a slow start to the season.

    D'Antoni was signed to a multi-year contract, team officials announced Sunday.

    With D’Antoni at the helm, the Lakers expect to be a running team that relies on Steve Nash -- coached by D'Antoni in Phoenix from 2004-2008 -- to create.

    "Everyone knows how much I love Mike,” Nash said. "If he were the coach, it would be seamless and terrific for me and for the team as well."

    The Lakers reportedly reached out to D’Antoni on Sunday evening, and he signed a four-year contract to become the new head coach by the end of the night. D’Antoni recently had knee surgery, so his timeline on taking control remains cloudy with more details possibly coming at a news conference scheduled for Tuesday or Wednesday.

    Offense is D'Antoni’s strong suit, and this hire should result in an exciting brand of Laker basketball. D'Antoni’s teams historically struggled to play defense in Phoenix and New York, but D'Antoni never had a 3-time defensive player of the year, Dwight Howard, on his teams.

    Kobe Bryant, who was coached by D’Antoni with Team USA, stated that he supported D’Antoni as a good option, but he also expressed his desire to see Phil Jackson back on the sidelines. With this hire, the Lakers have decided to go with a longer-term option than was available with fan-preferred Phil Jackson.

    The Lakers stated that Lakers owner Dr. Jerry Buss, Executive Vice-President Jim Buss, and General Manager Mitch Kupchak unanimously chose D’Antoni as the best man for the job at this time.