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D’Antoni will coach Lakers Friday, understands fans aren’t happy

Nov 13, 2012, 11:52 AM EDT

New York Knicks v Washington Wizards Getty Images

Politicians do this all the time — for their first interview after a big bit of news or awkward revelation, their first interview is with a friendly media outlet that is not going to pepper them with hard questions.

Mike D’Antoni’s first interview in Los Angeles came Tuesday morning — with Ryan Seacrest. Yes, American Idol Ryan Seacrest. He has a highly rated morning radio show in Los Angels on KIIS 102.7, a station where you can get your fill of Katy Perry and Taylor Swift.

So what did he say to calm down a Lakers nation that considers him the consolation prize after the Lakers cleverly were able to make it feel like D’Antoni is replacing Phil Jackson and not Mike Brown?

“I have some close friends who are Lakers fans and they were disappointed I got the job,” D’Antoni quipped.

Well played.

What did he say? We go to the bullet points.

• He will be in town Wednesday and will coach the team Friday night against the Suns. (Bernie Bickerstaff will coach the Lakers Tuesday night against the Spurs.)

• D’Antoni was “shocked” he got the job because like everyone else, “I was thinking that Phil would take the job but it’s a funny business.”

• He talked about being reunited with Steve Nash: “I’ve already left him once and that didn’t go so good. I’m not going to do that again.”

• He said what Lakers fans want to hear — this is a championship or bust team.

• D’Antoni said he has not spoken to Kobe Bryant yet but sang the praises of the Lakers star: “I’ve known Kobe forever, since he was 12 years old. He’s the greatest talent we have in the game.” (Remember that was Kobe was 12 and living in Italy with his father, D’Antoni was the best player in the Italian league and a big star.)

  1. jerdogthompson - Nov 13, 2012 at 12:02 PM

    Well played Mike. Lets see how you’re doing in 10 games. Anything less than a 8-2 mark will send Laker fans into a tizzy and likely prompt one to;

    *Pepper spray you
    *Send death threats to your twitter page
    *Hold candlelight vigils outside Staples after every loss praying for Phil to save them.

    Outlandish you say? Well two outta three so far. We shall see.

  2. money2long - Nov 13, 2012 at 12:20 PM

    diantoni’s first game at the helm may come when nash faces phoenix ? wow. alotta storylines there.

  3. fpimentel72 - Nov 13, 2012 at 12:55 PM

    A lot of people doesn’t like the idea that Mike is going to coach the Lakers and not Phil. I think Mike is a great fit because he knows how to coach a great team, but in New York, he had not a great team, but with the Lakers, he have great players, and for that is going to make home more great.

    • bucrightoff - Nov 13, 2012 at 1:10 PM

      Did anyone else actually understand this post? More or less showcasing the average Laker fan IQ…

      • fventricle - Nov 13, 2012 at 1:26 PM

        He should probably pick up a book and stop watching basketball.

  4. paulhargis53 - Nov 13, 2012 at 1:37 PM

    buc: I think when he first started posting, he stated he was from the Philippines. He apologized for his grammer as he is not as familiar with our language as we are.
    Just thought I’d let you know.
    You know me, I will rip any laker fan, but I cut this guy a break. I just imagine my posts in a secondary language.

    Do what I do, take it out on lakerluver/bozosforall-its the same guy….

    • badintent - Nov 14, 2012 at 11:22 PM

      Roger that !!10-4 good buddy !!Got my hand on the cruise missile button now , all down on LL , fire at Will !! or Bozo or the name of the day.

  5. dysraw1 - Nov 13, 2012 at 1:43 PM

    Ricky is in a good position to show case his abilities as head man in charge. ok ill admit in NY. he never had the talent, he had in PHX. and though he didn’t impress me so much then. but maybe for the first time in his career he has a team with more desire than he”s ever had too.

  6. misterdreamer119 - Nov 13, 2012 at 2:40 PM

    Guys this dude resigned from the knicks. Chandler, carmelo, armani. He had a decent roster and they are undefeated the knicks. Dantoni is not a great coach you will all see.

    • chetboyle - Nov 13, 2012 at 10:35 PM

      Carmelo wasn’t shooting the ball enough so someone had to go.

  7. phreakin - Nov 13, 2012 at 2:55 PM

    As a Suns fan it makes me ill knowing D’Antoni’s first game as Lakers coach will be against the Suns. And to top it off, the “enemy” PG is Steve Nash. Funny how that worked out..

    • diehardcard - Nov 13, 2012 at 6:03 PM

      It’s not funny, it’s disgusting. If I’d known in 2005 that D’Antoni AND Nash would end up on the Lakers, I would have renounced my Suns fandom.

      The worst part is that most Phoenix fans don’t even care because they’re from LA or Chicago or New York and only root for the Suns when they’re not playing their hometown team. There is no city where it’s harder to be a homer than Phoenix. I think there are only 10 or 15 of us.

      • phreakin - Nov 14, 2012 at 4:17 PM

        This fan cares!

  8. omniusprime - Nov 13, 2012 at 3:33 PM

    I probably won’t bother to watch the game or record it even if it is on tv. D’Antoni and the underachieving overpaid Lakers are going to have to prove to me they are worthy of my cheers. Right now the only cheer I have for the Lakers, that idiot little buss boy and D’Antoni is the Bronx Jeer.

  9. loungefly74 - Nov 13, 2012 at 3:41 PM

    it’s definitely an uphill battle for D’Antoni to win over the fans.

  10. lakerluver - Nov 13, 2012 at 4:15 PM

    “Just win, Baby”!!!

  11. mrlitl - Nov 13, 2012 at 7:29 PM

    Nash isn’t playing Friday.

  12. delusionalcardsfan - Nov 13, 2012 at 9:37 PM

    GO SUNS!

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