Los Angeles Lakers, Reading Between the Lines
So let's take a look at some of the quotes coming from the Los Angeles Lakers this season and see if we can translate what they're really trying to say.
Head Coach Mike D'Antoni -
What he said: At his initial press conference, “Obviously, you know, I’m real happy to be here.”
What he meant: The last time you saw me things were going pretty bad in New York. Then they got rid of me and things started getting better. Most coaches wouldn’t get a chance like this after that performance. Plus there was this other guy up for the job, Phil Jackson, you might have heard of him. So yeah, I’m pretty psyched right now.
What he said: On his team’s defense, “We’re not doing it. We’re not running back. We’re not doing the little things.” Later added: “We have too many guys that will take a possession off.”
What he meant: We don’t even really try to play defense. What we do can’t even really be called defense. It’s more like passive aggressive defense. We don’t want you to score, but we don’t want you to know we don’t want you to score.
What he said: On being asked about whether or not his team practices it’s defense, “Hell yeah, we worked for a half hour on it.”
What he meant: We worked for a half hour on it. That’s all you need to be good at stopping world-class basketball players from scoring, right? I mean these guys have spent hundreds and probably thousands of hours practicing how to score, so a good half hour right before the game counts as good defensive preparation, right?
What he said: On his team’s pace of play, “We play at a slow-pace and we struggle. It may be a mindset. We’ve got to search hard for some heart and play harder.”
What he meant: We’re old and slow, I want to run and gun like I could in Pheonix when I had a young Amare Stoudemire and a youngish Steve Nash. Now I’ve got an old team that can’t get up and down the court. And to make it worse, they don’t even want to. They want to run Phil Jackson’s system because it’s easier and they don’t have to be in great shape. Everyone said I was a better fit for this team, but that would only be true if we could take the whole team in a time machine and go back to 2006. Then Kobe might have taken 100 shots a game in my offense. Remember back then, when everyone thought I was a genius?