Bryant, Nash, hope D’Antoni brings ‘Showtime’
by Sam Amick, USA TODAY Sports
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash were in tune Tuesday morning.
After Bryant addressed the media to discuss the hiring of coach Mike D’Antoni, his point guard emerged from the training room to talk just as the first interview session was ending.
“That was good,” Nash joked afterward. “We’re in concert.”
While the Lakers struck so many of the wrong notes during their 0-8 preseason and 1-4 regular season start which led to the Friday firing of coach Mike Brown, they fully intend on making sweet music together with their new coach who Bryant deemed “an offensive genius.” But can they perform a new rendition of the “Showtime” act that led to five championships in the 1980s and that Lakers ownership is yearning to see again?
Time will tell, but that’s the hope from on high.
For all the back-and-forth that continues about why Phil Jackson wasn’t hired, D’Antoni is the coach in large part because from Dr. Jerry Buss all through the organization, they believe he can make Lakers basketball exciting again.
Bryant, who did not speak with the media about the hiring on Monday, admitted some disappointment that he wouldn’t be reunited with Jackson but offered a resounding endorsement of D’Antoni. While D’Antoni is best known for his “Seven Seconds or Less” system, a high-scoring pick and roll offense that was at its best with Nash in Phoenix from 2005 to 2008, Bryant said he learned while playing under D’Antoni in both 2008 and 2012 when he was an assistant for Team USA that he can adjust to the increased star-power that these Lakers will bring.
“The offense that he installed for our USA Team is the offense that we ran to the tune of two gold medals,” Bryant said. “We all know the type of talent that we had on that team, so it was important for us to have an offense that was flexible, that was open, that kept everybody involved. It worked pretty well for us.
“It’s going to be fine. It’s not like he takes the same thing that he did in Phoenix and incorporates it here. He … [For more on Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Lakers hope Mike D'Antoni brings 'Showtime', click here.]