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Mike D'Antoni to the Lakers: Good move or bad?

November 14, 2012|By Houston Mitchell

Wednesday's Google+ Hangout featured Lakers writer Mike Bresnahan and Clippers writer Brad Turner discussing the two teams, with a focus on the recent hiring of Mike D'Antoni to coach the Suns.

Do the Lakers need to win the Finals to make the hiring a success? Bresnahan says they have to at least reach the Finals, while Turner says it is NBA title or bust.

What was Kobe's reaction to the news?

As Bresnahan wrote, "I think we were all kind of thinking it was going to be Phil" Jackson, Bryant said Tuesday. "It probably caught Mike off guard a little bit too. But I'm excited."

Jackson coached Bryant for 11 seasons on the Lakers, the two of them winning five championships together.

"Phil and I have gone back since I was 20 years old and everything he's taught me and so forth," said Bryant, normally not the nostalgic type. "There's a little bit of that. At the same time, I'm very excited about Coach D. I know Phil will be enjoying his retirement and looking to get back in the game, although probably not in a coaching standpoint, probably a managerial role at some point."

Bryant was asked by team executive Jim Buss who would be the best candidate to succeed the fired Mike Brown.

"To be honest, I said D'Antoni was my first choice because I didn't even know Phil was going to be an option," Bryant said. "And then Jimmy's the one that brought up Phil's name. I didn't even know that was a consideration. They said, 'Well it is, and I want to know how you feel about it.' I said 'I love it' and that was it. They knew my two guys that I liked. If one didn't work out obviously with Phil, they knew that they had my approval to pull the trigger on the other one."

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