Yes, if they give him time
Yes, Mike Apostrophe certainly is —for two reasons.
Hard to believe Jackson wouldn't want to lead another loaded team. Then again, he wanted to coach and run the Lakers in his spare time, and at a high salary. When Jackson was flirting with the Magic, word was he wanted a piece of the franchise. He apparently didn't want to attend all of L.A.'s road games. A heir apparent would handle those.
The Lakers don't need a Home and Away coach. D'Antoni knows offense and has Dwight Howard to handle the defense. This will work if the Lakers give him more than five games.
Fits with Nash, Bryant
The now-deposed Lakers coach Mike Brown once uttered the following famous last coaching words: "They won a lot of games," Mike Brown said, referring to the Suns. "It was fun to watch. Where were they in May?" That was a reference to the running-and-gunning system under Mike D'Antoni, featuring Steve Nash. Lakers fans, meet Mr. May
But there are three reasons why D'Antoni was a good choice: 1) He gets Kobe Bryant. 2) He gets Nash. 3) He gets the workings of major media markets.
The Lakers had to make a practical choice here. Once they opted not to re-hire Jackson, D'Antoni became the best available alternative because of his familiarity with Nash and Bryant.
He's a right choice
It's not the right choice but it is a right choice. Phil Jackson is the best coach for stars and the Lakers are filled with them. That said, D'Antoni knows how to run a veteran team, will get the offense revving and has Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash's endorsement. Plus, D'Antoni is motivated to get the underwhelming showing at the Knicks behind him.
Concerns about D'Antoni's defense are legitimate, if a bit overstated. For starters, with Dwight Howard and Bryant he has better defensive personnel than he ever has. And here's guessing he'll get somebody on his staff known for defense. Hello, Nate McMillan? D'Antoni should do fine. Jackson would do fine. That's a subtle difference.
Too late to be right
Of course not. But neither was Phil Jackson with multiple strings attached.
The right choice for the Lakers would have been made in June, an assessment that would have allowed for a complete search. On Nov. 12, there are no right choices. This is not when franchises that do things the right way make such decisions.
Eventually, talent will prevail. But for these past few days, it's as if the Lakers have been the Knicks or Timberwolves or Bobcats.
They whiffed with Rudy Tomjanovich, whiffed with Mike Brown, and it sure seems like a stretch with D'Antoni. But on Nov. 12, that's what you get, someone who couldn't pass muster in the offseason elsewhere.