Matt ‘Money’ Smith Details Why Mike D’Antoni Was Named Lakers Head Coach
The big story in Los Angeles from over the weekend is that the Lakers hired a new coach, Mike D’Antoni to replace Mike Brown. They apparently negotiated with Phil Jackson and those negotiations fell through. So, sports radio personality Matt ‘Money’ Smith called in to “On Air with Ryan Seacrest” to give us the details behind the decision to make Mike D’Antoni head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers. Listen to the full interview below.
What Was The Deal Breaker?
“The most important part of this whole situation…firing Mike Brown, hiring a new guy, is that Dwight Howard can leave at the end of the year if he chooses. He is a free agent. He can walk, not have anything to do with the Lakers and there is nothing they can do about it. So, the most important part of this whole process is making sure Dwight Howard, not Kobe, but Dwight Howard is happy. Because he’s the guy that holds the power and can leave. A lot of people think an up and down system that kind of uses Dwight’s athleticism is going to benefit Dwight and that’s Mike D’Antoni.”
Who’s Choice Was It?
“From everything that I’ve gathered so far, it’s the Lakers. This was their choice. They wanted Mike D’Antoni. They liked the idea of Phil because season ticket holders like the idea of Phil…when those people are squawking and not happy, they want to keep them happy. But ultimately decided, look Phil might be here for a year. Will he be here for two? His health is an issue. He’s had a number of surgeries, even if he’s feeling good, but then what?”
Is Phil Jackson Upset?
“He is livid. He was ready. He had reached out to so many people. He was ready to go. He wanted to do this and basically they picked Mike D’Antoni over him.”
Why Did They Fire Mike Browm?
“I don’t think they ever felt good about Mike Brown, that’s what happened. When they hired him there was no enthusiasm, people scratched their head – wait a minute this is the guy that LeBron didn’t like. Why are we hiring him? He never won a ring. There’s a number of other candidates that seemed to be a more logical fit. You fired Phil Jackson to hire Mike Brown? That is basically how he was welcomed to LA. Then things start going wrong, a lot of people in the media Charles Barkley, Magic Johnson are going after Mike Brown and who’s left to defend him? They very guys that are sold on him in the first place. So, that locker room became toxic you have Kobe, Pau, Dwight, and Steve defending a guy that they don’t believe in. And it broke down from there.”