Mike D’Antoni Rumors
David Hardisty: D’Antoni was asked if this was an example of why @James Harden is the MVP: “How many examples do you need? He gives an example every night.”
Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry has long been a believer in Mike D’Antoni and his offensive philosophy. That was not his first impression, however. “I thought he was nuts,” said Gentry, an assistant under D’Antoni in Phoenix. “I actually did. I thought there’s no way you can play this way in the NBA. He said, ‘Oh yes you can.’ “Mike’s a hell of a coach. I’ve always thought he was a hell of a coach, from the first week I was with him and (he) talked about how we were going to play and he said ‘this is what we’re going to do.’ You kind of take a deep breath and sit back.”
“When he said he was going to put James Harden at point guard, everybody laughed at him,” Gentry said. “Now you look at it, it might have been the best move of the year in the NBA from the standpoint of … what he does with the assists and his scoring and the rebounding. It’s unbelievable. He put himself in a position to be the MVP of the league.” Told of Gentry’s initial thoughts, D’Antoni was not surprised. “That’s Alvin. Alvin’s great,” D’Antoni said. “We had a great relationship and we do have a great relationship.”
“The NBA is nothing but unfair,” D’Antoni said before the Lakers played the Rockets on Wednesday at Toyota Center. “Everybody goes through it, and it’s not easy. It was tough times. L.A. and New York are unforgiving places.” The Lakers hired D’Antoni without a training camp in 2012 before dealing with overlapping injuries, most notably to Steve Nash and later to Bryant. After the Lakers failed to retain Dwight Howard in the 2013 offseason, the Lakers had more injuries to Bryant and Nash in 2013-14 while fielding a roster with plenty of unproven players on one-year deals.
While D’Antoni finished with a combined 67-87 record with the Lakers, he dismissed an idea of the front office playing any role in his struggles. “They did everything for me they could possibly do. There’s nothing else to ask of them,” D’Antoni said of Kupchak and Jim Buss. “It was a tough time. We had to deal with a transition period and injuries.”