Lakers’ D’Antoni lashes out at reporter after road loss to Cavaliers
By Ben Golliver
Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni lost his patience with a reporter after a 100-94 loss to the Cavaliers on Tuesday in Cleveland.
After the Lakers lost their third consecutive game to fall to 9-13 overall and 2-7 on the road, D’Antoni was asked about his team’s porous defense, which has been a problem throughout the season. He responded in an irritated fashion, raising his voice to dispute the reporter’s line of questioning, which centered on the premise that the Lakers only watched film and practiced shooting and didn’t address their defense in preparing for the Cavaliers.
“I didn’t see you in the film … I didn’t see you there. It’s not true.”
Did you work on defense?
“Hell yeah, we worked for a half-hour on it. You’re starting to piss me off. You’re starting to piss me off because you’re saying something that’s not factually correct. I’m just saying, I’m just straightening it out.”
The Lakers came into the game ranked No. 15 in defensive efficiency. They have conceded at least 100 points in six of the last seven games. Cleveland had the 27th-ranked offense, although star guard Kyrie Irving played Tuesday after missing weeks with a hand injury. Irving finished with 28 points and 11 assists as the Cavaliers overcame Kobe Bryant’s 42 points.
D’Antoni, long known as an offensive mastermind, has been accused in the past of neglecting the importance of defense in favor of his high-octane approach.
The Orange County Register reports that D’Antoni continued to defend his coaching of defense after the incident shown in the video clip above.
D’Antoni went to the timeline of when the Lakers worked on defense in recent days and also said: “We work on defense all the time.”