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Kobe defends D'Antoni's defensive reputation

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04:54 PM ET 11.13 | It's no secret that Mike D'Antoni has a reputation for not drilling his team enough on proper defensive principles. The reality is that his teams were average defensively rather than poor, but the perception still existed. Tuesday, in an attempt to squash that perception, Kobe Bryant noted that Phil Jackson, the man who many felt should have received the Lakers' job, didn't necessarily spend a lot of practice time on defense either. "I mean Phil's been here, and, to be honest with you, we might have, in all the years I've been with Phil, (had) maybe three defensive drills the entire time," Bryant said. He went on to stress that personal accountability, and not practice time, is what makes a good defensive team.

USA Today

Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE, Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE, Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE
Comment #1 has been removed
November 13, 2012  04:56 PM ET

Kobe making nice ??????????

November 13, 2012  05:11 PM ET

D'Antoni over Phil, youre kidding right?

November 13, 2012  05:15 PM ET
QUOTE(#3):

D'Antoni over Phil, youre kidding right?

He did such a great coaching job in New York.

November 13, 2012  05:16 PM ET
QUOTE(#1):

LBJ, kobe, dwight are the best players in the league

They are?

Comment #6 has been removed
Comment #7 has been removed
November 13, 2012  06:25 PM ET

Dantoni is defensive like Lance is clean.

November 13, 2012  07:32 PM ET
QUOTE(#1):

bingo-its about the STAR players wanting to bring it on D-thats why LBJ, kobe, dwight are the best players in the league

jgb, I totally agree!!! Kobe, Gasol, MWP and Howard are very good defensive players, hell Kobe and Howard have been on the "All defensive" team in the past, how can you teach these guys defense, when they have been playing defense all their lives??? I have to laugh at people who say the Lakers need a defesive coach.

November 13, 2012  07:33 PM ET
QUOTE(#9):

jgb, I totally agree!!! Kobe, Gasol, MWP and Howard are very good defensive players, hell Kobe and Howard have been on the "All defensive" team in the past, how can you teach these guys defense, when they have been playing defense all their lives??? I have to laugh at people who say the Lakers need a *defesive coach.

*defensive

November 13, 2012  07:35 PM ET
QUOTE(#4):

He did such a great coaching job in New York.

It's all about coaching "idiot" players in New York!!!!

November 13, 2012  08:39 PM ET

this one just won't float Kobe

Comment #13 has been removed
November 13, 2012  11:47 PM ET

Anyone who remembers the Lakers inability to adjust to Phoenix's zone defense will see the truth behind these words. Fhil was absolutely clueless in that series and it was Kobe's heroics that pulled the Lakers through. Likewise, think back to how they got flat out embarrassed by Dallas during Fhil's last stay... Not to mention the appearance of the team lying down because they had no answer for anything Dallas did.

In truth, d'Antoni and Fhil are more alike than people think. Neither is known for developing young talent and thus, both depend on veteran's to carry their team. They are both notorious for keeping their rotations small and that's an easy thing to do when you have great players doing the heavy lifting. Without those players, both are exposed as average coaches (if that). In Fhil's cas, if you think about the years, post Jordan and post Shaq, neither of their teams made much noise. Sure, you could say, "Well, it was Jordan and Shaq", but the drop off was obvious. d'Antoni's teams were notorious for being great during the regular season and not long for the playoffs. Why? Because the minutes logged by his short rotation and lack of viable backups (who didn't play), produced a tired team that was often ill-prepared for the playoff grind as we know it.

Lastly, both are poor at making adjustments as evidenced by d'Antoni's all those early post season exits as well as his time in New York. In Fhil's case, 2004 vs Detroit, 05-06 vs Phoenix and most recently vs Dallas. As far as I'm concerned, the only differences between these two are the systems they espouse and the fact that Fhil had Jordan and Shaq (read:"forces of nature") to work with.

Having said all the above, I still think that d'Antoni was a better hire for "this" Lakers team.

Comment #15 has been removed
November 14, 2012  12:02 AM ET
QUOTE(#15):

Down Goes Kentucky!Down Goes Kentucky!Down Goes Kentucky!

+1

November 14, 2012  01:04 AM ET
QUOTE(#12):

this one just won't float Kobe

**

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