Mike D’Antoni is expected to be on the bench Sunday for the Los Angeles Lakers, according to a report from the Los Angeles Times.
The Lakers surprised the basketball world when they hired Mike D’Antoni Monday morning, bypassing 11-time NBA champion coach Phil Jackson.
“I’ve got some really close friends who are Laker fans and they were disappointed I got the job,” D’Antoni told Helene Elliott.
D’Antoni is currently recovering from reconstructive knee surgery and is expected to arrive in Los Angeles Monday to speak to the team on Thursday.
“When I feel better I’ll start coaching, and I think miraculously I’ll start feeling better when Steve [Nash] is feeling better,” D’Antoni said. “I’ve already tried coaching without him and that didn’t work out too well, so I’m thinking I’ll be smart this time.”
D’Antoni coached Lakers point guard Steve Nash with the Phoenix Suns, where the Canadian point guard put up the best numbers of his career. In addition, the new Lakers coach is said to have an established relationship with Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant.
The Lakers fired Mike Brown last week after a 1-4 start with the front office reportedly unhappy with the team’s offence after adding Nash and Dwight Howard in the off-season.