2011–present: Post-Jackson Era
After Jackson's retirement, former Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Mike Brown was hired as head coach. On December 8, 2011, the New Orleans Hornets, the Los Angeles Lakers and the Houston Rockets agreed to a trade that would send Chris Paul to Los Angeles. NBA commissioner David Stern nullified the trade. The decision was meant with severe backlash players and sportswriters. The league had acquired the Hornets from former owner George Shinn, and the commissioner's office has final authority over all management decisions. Several of the other owners, also opposed the deal (most notably Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert). At the end of the trade deadline, the Lakers traded long time point guard Derek Fisher to Houston for Jordan Hill. During the 2012 NBA Playoffs, the Lakers nearly blew a 3-1 series lead to the Denver Nuggets, before closing them out in the seventh game. Entering the semifinals, the Lakers would lose to the Oklahoma City Thunder 4-1.
Entering the 2012-13 season, the Lakers made key changes in their roster, trading several draft picks to the Phoenix Suns for two time MVP Steve Nash, and trading Andrew Bynum and a first round draft pick in a four team deal that netted them three time defensive player of the year Dwight Howard. After a 1–4 start to the season, Brown was fired as head coach. The Lakers first contacted Jackson to replace Brown; however, talks stalled as Jackson requested time to consider the position. The next day, the team talked with Mike D'Antoni and signed him to a multi-year contract in a unanimous decision by the front office. They felt that D'Antoni's fast-paced style of play made him a "great fit" for the team, more suitable than Jackson's structured triangle offense. Jerry Buss' preference has always been for the Lakers to have a wide-open offense. D'Antoni was reunited with Nash, who won two MVPs in four season under D'Antoni while with the Suns. Bryant was also familiar with D'Antoni; Bryant as a child knew him when D'Antoni was a star in Italy and Bryant's father was also playing there. Bryant grew close with D'Antoni during their time with the United States national team.
D'Antoni's coaching debut with the Lakers was delayed as he recovered from knee replacement surgery he had weeks earlier. Bernie Bickerstaff, who was the Lakers' interim coach after Brown was fired, continued in that role after D'Antoni was hired. He was 4–1 as the interim coach, winning his last two as D'Antoni started leading team practices. D'Antoni predicted that the Lakers, then 3–5 and ranked 20th in scoring with 96.5 points per game, should instead be scoring "110–115 points a game". On November 20, he coached his first game—nine days after he was hired—in a 95–90 win against the Brooklyn Nets.
Read more about this topic: History Of The Los Angeles Lakers
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