D’Antoni to make Lakers debut Tuesday
By Ben Golliver
Mike D’Antoni told reporters Tuesday that he will officially make his Lakers coaching debut against the Nets at the Staples Center on Tuesday night. D’Antoni was hired by the Lakers last week, following the Lakers’ decision to fire Mike Brown, but assistant coach Bernie Bickerstaff continued to serve as interim coach while D’Antoni recovered from a recent knee replacement.
The Lakers fired Mike Brown on Nov. 9 following an 0-8 preseason and a 1-4 start to the regular season. Bickerstaff, who will be retained on D’Antoni’s staff, posted a 4-1 record as interim coach while D’Antoni watched his team play from the locker room.
D’Antoni, 61, was hired on Nov. 12 after rumors linked the Lakers to legendary coach Phil Jackson. He promised to bring his high-octane, “Seven Seconds or Less” offensive approach to the star-studded Lakers.
“We would love to be able to play ‘Showtime’-type basketball,” D’Antoni told reporters at his introductory press conference. “Now, they might have done it the best that you can do it. We would like to get some place close to that. I think that would be awesome.”
Los Angeles will be without starting point guard Steve Nash, who played for D’Antoni on the Suns, as he continues to rehabilitate from a lower leg injury.