The new Los Angeles Lakers' head coach has yet to coach the team. Mike D'Antoni, who is recovering from knee surgery was set to make his debut last night. However, he did not coach the team last night because he is not fully recovered from the surgery. He hopes to make his debut Tuesday.
According to Dave McMenamin of ESPN Los Angeles, a combination of pain and fatigue kept D'Antoni from being on the bench Sunday for the Lakers' 119-108 win over the Houston Rockets. He is hoping that pain fades and he can join the team Tuesday when they take on the Brooklyn Nets.
"I'm a little disappointed, I wanted to be on the bench," D'Antoni told reporters before the game. "After talking with (Lakers trainer) Gary Vitti ... he convinced me a little bit not to do it."D'Antoni is taking over the Lakers after Mike Brown was fired five games into the season. Brown coached Los Angeles last season after taking over for Phil Jackson. He never really seemed to be a fit for the team, and when the Lakers started this season 1-4, the front office pulled the plug.
The Lakers reached out to Phil Jackson to see if he'd be interested in a return, and a deal looked all but certain with the longtime coach. However, last week Los Angeles announced that D'Antoni had been hired instead.
Many of the players are excited to get D'Antoni on the team. He is an offense first head coach, and has built successful offensive teams wherever he's been. The knock on him is his team's defense. D'Antoni has never won a championship, and many do not think he can with his style of coaching.