Mike D'Antoni fits with Lakers

Innovative offensive mind can blend Bryant with Nash, Howard and Gasol

Updated: November 12, 2012, 2:39 PM ET
By Amin Elhassan | ESPN Insider

As head coach of the Phoenix Suns from 2003 to '08, Mike D'Antoni served as the mastermind of an offensive system that changed the NBA in many ways. Concepts that have become staples of offenses across the league -- such as emphasizing the corner 3-point shot and playing smaller, faster front lines (i.e., small forwards playing power forward and power forwards playing center) -- were first popularized by D'Antoni in Phoenix.

I had the good fortune to witness this firsthand while working in the Suns' front office during D'Antoni's reign.

D'Antoni used to preach to the players phrases like "shoot it or move it," "the ball finds energy," "the first three steps in transition are the difference" and, of course, "wings run to deep corners." These were all tenets of his coaching philosophy. And it's a philosophy that could turn around the Lakers' season.


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