On Sunday night, when Mike D’Antoni makes his coaching debut with the Los Angeles Lakers, maybe the attention on this NBA regular season can start to focus on, well, the entire NBA regular season.
Don’t get me wrong. Whether D’Antoni and his up-tempo, decidedly-not-Phil-Jackson tenure as the Lakers' head coach works or fails will have huge and interesting ramifications for Los Angeles, the Lakers, the Western Conference and the NBA.
The league has forged for itself another great era because it has buttressed a deep reservoir of talent, storylines and interesting teams with a few key narratives stemming from its best and most marketable teams, most notably Miami, Los Angeles and, this season, New York.
This Lakers team in particular, with its addictive mix of uber-talent, dysfunction and uncertainty, will command the attention of fans this season regardless of what happens. They have an all-time great starting lineup, four future Hall of Fame players and enough hype to make Showtime Redux must-see TV, whether it’s unparalleled success, a season-long train wreck or something in between.