This surprisingly candid letter from the Los Angeles Lakers front office has been floating around the internet. It addresses former Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan, who was considered by everyone by everyone but the Lakers front office to be a likely candidate to replace Mike Brown.
Dear Coach Sloan,
It is been brought to our attention here in Los Angeles of your apparent interest in the recently filled Los Angeles Lakers head coaching position. It appears that we ignored your obvious qualifications. We can assure you that is untrue. Let us outline why our search lead us to our new head coach Mike D’Antoni, who certainly without failure is the face of the LA Lakers bench in the future.
Coaches in Los Angeles do more than tolerate the glitz and the glamour of coaching in LA, they embrace it. Pat Riley and Phil Jackson are 2 parts PR, 1 part celebrity in their own right, and the remainder was dedicated to coaching. Mike D’Antoni coached in New York. He has the public charisma for LA. Coaches without that big city experience never succeed. Of course never besides LA Kings head coach Darryl Sutter, who is a no-nonsense farm boy from Canada who just won the Stanley Cup.
Jerry, Los Angeles is not Salt Lake City. It is more like a much warmer NY or Chicago. If you had any experience in those cities then . . .oh, I am reading here you played 10 seasons in Chicago, and coached 3 there. Apologies, we may have overlooked that.
But Mike D’Antoni is the best fit for our team because of his offensive pedigree. You were a stout defensive player and brought that to the Jazz. D’Antoni and Steve Nash partnered together to debut a dynamic offense, which ran the floor but was predicated on the pick and roll. Steve Nash is one of the All Time great pick and roll point guards, as partnering with Dirk Nowitzki, Amar’e Stoudemire, and Marcin Gortat propelled Nash to 5th Al -Time in the NBA in assists.
Wait, as I’m writing this I see you coached the all time best pick and roll players in NBA history, Karl Malone who is 2nd All Time in points scored, and John Stockton who is 1st All time in assists. Of course, well, obviously that is a time much different than the NBA in 2012—the shorts were much shorter.
But the players in our locker room grew stale of listening to Mike Brown’s voice. Their attention and work level on both ends of the floor declined. They need to hear a new voice. Mike D’Antoni’s message will not go stale, and they will work hard for him. They have heard his voice plenty and respect him from their extensive experience with him on the US Olympic Team and Phoenix Suns. Hmm, that sounds stale already. But they respect him.
Your reputation as a disciplined, hard-nosed, no-nonsense coach wouldn’. . .well that sounds pretty good, now that you mention it. These star players think they are on top of everything. Even veterans could use some discipline.
Well there’s no hiding it. You can tell we obviously screwed this one up—and have been for a couple years now. So we did you a favor, because you are obviously better off the way things stand. You may have got the player’s attention, but in management we don’t listen to anyone. And frankly, we thought you were still coaching the Jazz. You learn the most amazing things on Wikipedia.
Apologies for the omission, but you’re welcome,
Los Angeles Lakers Management