Former Phoenix Suns coach Mike D'Antoni to coach the Los Angeles Lakers - whaaaaa?!?

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE

The fading Lakers have decided to go "all in" for the best offense in the league run by four future Hall of Famers and coached by an offensive genius.

In a stunning turn of events, the Los Angeles Lakers have assimilated the Phoenix Suns into their Borg. I guess, even if you CAN beat them you might as well join them too.

Steve Nash is the Los Angeles Lakers starting point guard.

And now Mike D'Antoni is their head coach.

After losing to the Suns a couple of contentious times in the playoffs in the mid-2000s during the Suns' short glory run, later beating the Suns in the 2010 Conference Finals to end the Suns' last gasp at glory, the Lakers have absorbed the Suns. Or at least, taken the losing team's best guys after sending them home for an early lunch.

Last summer, a fading Laker team (it's all relative, folks) decided they needed a driver and appropriated the guy who ran the best offense in the league - on two different teams - for a decade. When the car sputtered off the starting line, they hired the pit boss who kept the car on the fast track during most of that run.

What a strange turn of events.

Steve and Mike never were able to win that championship during their run-n-gun days in Phoenix. They changed the league forever, turning it into a high-scoring fast-paced league in a way that the earlier versions of high-scoring teams (Sacramento, for example) couldn't.

And even though the Lakers eventually beat the Suns, as did other eventual Finals teams in every year of the magical D'Antoni/Nash run of the 2000s, the lure of the most beautiful offense in the history of the NBA is too drool-inspriring for team's clinging desperately for that magic.

The Lakers had no need for Nash and D'Antoni when they were winning. "Defense win championships" was the mantra, and every fan around the league knew it. At least, fans of the Spurs, Pistons, Mavericks, Lakers, Celtics, and HEAT knew this without question.

But the Lakers are fading and Mitch Kupchak knows it. Only desperate men swing like this for the fences by hiring the enemy.

The Lakers are a storied franchise that knows how to win. Get a world's-best scorer, a world's-best center, play strong defense, and run the table.

Now, they have hired the world's best offense-only point guard to run a team that has not had run their offense through a point guard in twenty years, six Finals appearances and five league championships.

Now, they have hired a stubborn, offense-only head coach after not having such an offense-only head coach since Paul Westhead thirty years ago.

Can Steve Nash and Mike D'Antoni win a championship running their style, as they always claimed they could? Well, it helps having three Hall of Famers (Howard, Gasol, Bryant) in the lineup.

Can the Lakers, of all franchises, prove that offense-only scheming can beat all comers in a 7-game series?

We shall see.

The mustachio'd stunt double for the Pringles mascot and the once-floppy-haired-finger-licking best passer in the game now have a chance to make history.

And all Suns fans get to do is watch.

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