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Frustrated D’Antoni rants after Lakers blow 18-point lead

Mar 23, 2013, 11:00 AM EDT

Los Angeles Lakers head coach D'Antoni yells as his team plays the Orlando Magic in NBA action in Orlando, Florida Reuters

The Lakers are a playoff team — they remain the 8 seed in the West, in large part because the wheels have come off the Jazz.

But they sure didn’t look like it in the second half Friday night. They looked like the Lakers that have frustrated fans and coaches all season — lazy defense and isolation offense. It wasn’t pretty… unless you’re a Wizards fan and got to watch your team show some fight and come from 18 points down to win in Los Angles.

Mike D’Antoni isn’t a Wizards fan, he’s the Lakers coach, and his frustrations boiled over into a rant in post-game press conference (which you can watch online at the Lakers Web site).

“What happened was we didn’t play hard enough. We think we can just figure things out and just point. I mean, Trevor Ariza‘s got 12 attempts at three and he’s wide open. That’s inexcusable and it’s just a matter of lapses or gambling or ‘I’m not gonna play hard tonight because we’re just gonna outscore them….’

“There’s no explanation for it. I don’t know. I can’t explain it, but every time we get up 16, it’s like, ‘Oh, we’re really good and we don’t have to play hard.’ And we start messing with the game. You start messing with not moving the ball. You start messing with ‘I’m just gonna go 1-on-1 every time.’ You start messing with the basketball Gods and they get you. That ball will roll around and go in for them and it’ll roll around and go out for us, because we’re messing with the game.

“And if we don’t change that, well, obviously we won’t make the playoffs. But even if we do, then we’ll get blown out in the playoffs. …

And I told them in (the locker room), we put our hands in (the huddle), and you’ve guys have probably seen it, we say ‘Championship!” and go out there. And that’s laughable. Championship? You gotta be kidding me

“Until they understand the importance of every possession offensively and defensively, and every time, they gotta come out with some kind of determination to be a good basketball team, then we’re just fooling ourselves. And right now, that’s what we’re doing. We’re making sham-mockery of it, or whatever that is.”

Okay then.

Of course, maybe the Lakers needed another kick in the… posterior. From someone other than Kobe.

There are 12 games left in the regular season and if the Lakers are going to live up to Jerry West’s prediction of them being a playoff threat, they are going to have to find a level of consistent effort and execution lacking for much of the season. The Lakers are winning more games now than they did, you can start to see their identity be forged, but they are a ways away from executing night in and night out. When challenged — like they certainly will be in the playoffs — they simply do not impress.

  1. cakemixa - Mar 23, 2013 at 11:09 AM

    Lol, did anyone in the world actually think D’Antoni would be a great hire for the Lakers? Seriously.

    • progress2011 - Mar 23, 2013 at 12:59 PM

      I’d pay good money to have a video of Mike Brown and how he HYSTERICALLY laughs himself outta his recliner, every time the FAKERS lose……ahahahah

      Then another video of him cashing them checks from the FAKER organization, while he is chillin on a private island somewhere…..ahahahahaha

    • clevelandschronic2 - Mar 23, 2013 at 1:59 PM

      Yeah Every laker fan thought it was good hire. Lol they were soo delusional

      • stadix093 - Mar 23, 2013 at 2:21 PM

        I’m a Lakers fan with lots of friends who are Lakers fans. None of us thought it was a good hire. You can’t lump every fan in with idiot Internet trolls. If that were the case your name would make me believe everyone from Cleveland is an idiot.

      • aboogy123456 - Mar 23, 2013 at 3:30 PM

        I was one of the people who hated the hire, but I’ve been objective and I actually really like what D’antoni has done compared to last season. Their offense is so much better this year it’s not even close. Numbers aside, I see more fluid offense and guys are getting better shots rather than just watching kobe and not moving. Their defense is like last year as well, great when they try, but they haven’t sustained it.

        Lakers have had the problem of blowing leads long before D’antoni. This was the case last year against OKC, and also when the lakers lost to the mavericks with phil jackson. This is a problem but don’t act like this is a new problem. Lakers just need to keep their focus.

  2. davidly - Mar 23, 2013 at 11:11 AM

    Kurt: with “The wheels have come off the Jazz,” you have coined an idiom for the metaphorically proverbial ages!

  3. rjlink1 - Mar 23, 2013 at 11:18 AM

    D’Antoni’s absolutely right. He’s talking about Kobe (mostly to blame) and Metta. But whatever–a game against the Wizards in March is not the measure of any team.

    The lineups were thrown way out of whack last night: Pau coming back (with reduced role for Earl Clark), Antawn getting hurt, the disappearance of the Nash-Blake backcourt. I do agree it’s on D’Antoni to figure out what’s going to work.

    • conjecture101 - Mar 23, 2013 at 3:21 PM

      he may be talking about metta but thats only because metta is his personal scapegoat. If you actually watched the game, metta wasnt giving up those open 3s most of the time, because D’antoni continually puts him on the power forwards when one of the bigs goes out. D’antoni cant say anything to kobe or dwight because he’s scared of the backlash, he won’t say anything to steve nash because thats his boy and he seems to have an irratinal infatuation with jodie meeks meaning everytime something goes wrong he blames metta.

      • conjecture101 - Mar 23, 2013 at 3:23 PM

        Also; look at the plus/minuses for the Lakers. When Metta is on the floor they win, period.

  4. davidly - Mar 23, 2013 at 11:19 AM

    It’s true that a lack of team hustle and determination are part of the problem in losses like this one, but let’s face it: if this team had given the kind of energy the way they have in their most scrappy games this season, they’d be more battered and broken than they already are.

    Another problem is that they are not playing to their talents. Nash’s assist/to ratio is too good to be having Bryant out there making most of the decisions on offense. The difference between KB’s taking 25 shots, versus his “facilitating” with 11/6 is nominal, at best.

    • soopreme - Mar 23, 2013 at 12:14 PM

      You are 100% correct.
      I watched the last five minutes of that game last night and it was unbelievable to watch.
      Kobe shot the ball every single time down the court except once when Artest tried to drive the lane and got a charge.
      Nash did not touch the ball at all except one time when he threw it in out of a time out.
      Howard was 8 of 9 from the floor for 20 points and 15 rebounds but he did not get a single touch in the last five minutes of that game and I will be shocked if he sticks around after the season.
      Washington played it real smart by letting Ariza guard Kobe and not sending a double team because Kobe wasn’t attacking the rim, he was just shooting jump shots.
      D’Antoni should really blame himself for not taking control of his team.

  5. bigrele - Mar 23, 2013 at 11:31 AM

    Lmao @ Laker fans, great game against the lowly Washington Wizards! Um YEAH the Spurs, Thunders & the rest of the western conference really don’t wanna play the Lakers in the 1st round; all the west playoff teams should be “scared” of the Lakers & should look to avoid this team, ha! YEAH right! There is absolutely nothing to fear about playing this pathetic overrated overhyped 8th seeded team, NOTHING! Another Laker loss with ALL their players back against another sub .500 lottery team & not a Laker fan in sight with their ususal excuses & rants about how much better this team will be when Pau gets back; as always after ANOTHER Laker loss they disappear like a fart in the wind! lol

    • musician0785 - Mar 23, 2013 at 12:12 PM

      So you’re saying you know more than Jerry West about basketball? lmaooo ok

      • dannymac17 - Mar 23, 2013 at 1:15 PM

        this is probably the worst reply ever

      • musician0785 - Mar 23, 2013 at 2:13 PM

        how is it bad reply exactly?

      • musician0785 - Mar 23, 2013 at 2:19 PM

        whats pathetic is that when the Lakers win, u trolls are conveniently quiet, but every loss all i see a stream of comments from trolls busting at the seams to say i told you so it must suck 2 b a fan of an organization that isn’t used to winning…..
        Your team loses, no one cares because no one expected anything else, Lakers lose and its front page news because no one ever expects it….lmaooo…i’ll take that……and you haters can continue toooooo……..hate

      • musician0785 - Mar 23, 2013 at 2:21 PM

        yea dont directly answer my question…..just gives me a thumbs down……genuis

      • dannymac17 - Mar 23, 2013 at 10:39 PM

        its cause you sound stupid, nobody wants to speak to you based off how dumb you sound

    • mytthor - Mar 23, 2013 at 9:35 PM

      I’m a laker fan. If you want someone to defend this horrible loss, you’ll have to look elsewhere. But at the end of the day it’s a long way from what has to happen in the playoffs. I don’t really understand how you hate on Laker fans for not being encouraged by a crappy loss to a crappy team.

      I’m still here, and I’m a die hard fan. What do you want me to say, this wasn’t an embarrassing loss? It was. Doesn’t mean the game doesn’t change in the playoffs. This doesn’t mean they won’t do anything in the playoffs any more than a win against the Thunder means they’d sweep the Thunder in the playoffs. You talk about the team being overhyped, but it’s nimrods like you overreacting after every win and loss that causes that.

  6. fnc111 - Mar 23, 2013 at 12:11 PM

    Just a cover for how rigged the league is. Beat Indiana on the road but lose to the Wizards and Suns???? League has been run by Stern thru Vegas for a decade.

  7. xerocc - Mar 23, 2013 at 12:37 PM

    At least he’s come to terms with the fact that he’s clueless. This clown needs to go.

  8. bucrightoff - Mar 23, 2013 at 12:47 PM

    Where are all the Laker fans saying they fear no one in the West? Good thing the Wizards don’t play in the West (or can make the playoffs). Lakers will be lucky to avoid being swept. Most disappointing season in NBA history and its not particularly close.

  9. steelers4385 - Mar 23, 2013 at 12:52 PM

    Guy is the worst coach

  10. the stepback jumper - Mar 23, 2013 at 1:00 PM

    As THE coach, D’Antoni should be able to take control of his team INCLUDING his star players and have them follow his direction. If players are not following his lead, he should be prepared to take the necessary steps to correct that behaviour.

    Kobe will keep on jacking up his shots because, as a true competitor, he is pressured that the opposing team’s lead will grow unless he takes over and starts making shots. This tends to result in poor shot selection but that is the mindset.

    For the prolific scorers and competitors out there, don’t you feel the same when your team is behind and time is running out, or in pick-up games, the other team is nearing the finish line and you’ve taken it upon yourself to will your team to win?

  11. stayhigh_247 - Mar 23, 2013 at 1:16 PM

    Hey Damphony! Listen up!
    Discipline starts at home, I dont need a lecture on defense through the media, those failures and lapses fall on you and your staff! It’s something that you’re not doing coach. Enter Doc Rivers, Tom Thibideau, Coach Spolstra or Pops. Their teams have bad games from time to time but never an epidemic like what the Lakers have. Why? Because those coaches actually coach and have a defensive philosophy. In Damphony’s defense (no pun), asking him to teach defense is like asking Mark Cuban to shut up, or getting Greg Anthony to stop wearing 8 piece suits on tv, it’s just not gonna happen. Unfortunately for Kobe, his last years as a Laker will be subpar with this AARP squad and a coach with no defensive IQ.

  12. clevelandschronic2 - Mar 23, 2013 at 1:54 PM

    Wow who knew that kobe would be dominating the ball and that he would pretend he knew how to be a pg. while kobe is shooting 25+ jumpers its nice to see that nash is rendered useless because of mr ball hog and its only gonna get worse when D12 leaves and your stuck with an overpaid selfish ball hog on a team full of aging players. Enjoy being the clippers b***h Faker fans

    • musician0785 - Mar 23, 2013 at 2:26 PM

      enjoy that consistently mediocre franchise, in the trash can that u call the state of ohio and the city of cleveland……and shoutout to the ex-laker champion thats the head coach of your pathetic organization…..i guess you could always pin your hopes to Greg Oden

    • aboogy123456 - Mar 23, 2013 at 3:39 PM

      You’re nothing more than an uneducated hater. You either don’t watch basketball, or you don’t see what’s happening when you do watch. Steve Nash can’t dominate the ball like he used to, he was getting trapped and not beating the trap and he had a lot of turnovers. Kobe understands basketball more than your dumb self so he handled the ball more and took the pressure off nash, and the lakers have played better ever since.

  13. fotydaze - Mar 23, 2013 at 1:57 PM

    @soopreme well said!

    That’s why hiring Phil back was so important Kobe respects no one but Phil.he’s not going to listen d’antoni or anyone else with a weak pedigree. Hate Phil or not Jim buss, he was the only way to control Kobe

    • soopreme - Mar 23, 2013 at 2:17 PM

      And the funny thing is that I heard Jim Buss say out of his own mouth the the reason he went with D’antoni was because of Nash LOL!!!!!!!
      Nash has become an after thought.

  14. mightymike1250 - Mar 23, 2013 at 2:11 PM

    And off in the distance, we hear the faint sound of Jim Mora saying, “Playoffs? Don’t talk about playoffs! Playoffs?………………..”

  15. dalucks - Mar 23, 2013 at 5:07 PM

    Frustrated Laker fans have had rants about D’antioni all season.

  16. michaeljordanseviltwin - Mar 23, 2013 at 5:49 PM

    I don’t see lakerluver posting on this article. Where are ya buddy? To ashamed to talk about this embarrassing loss? I can not WAIT to see the Lakers get swept again by the Thunder.

    • ron05342 - Mar 24, 2013 at 1:11 PM

      They lost that series 4-1, you moron. That’s not a sweep. So, it can’t happen “again.”

      Actually, I am not sure the Lakers even make the playoffs this season.

  17. clevelandschronic2 - Mar 23, 2013 at 7:33 PM

    Lol ya talk trash about ohio like always because you cant handle the truth about your poor FAKERS!! You just cant help the fact that your pride and joy kobe is a whiny ball hog and that we all had to listen to you pathetic faker fans rant about how the title should be handed to you last summer when howard and Nash came to La Yet this team with mr i think im jordan can barely hold on to the 8th seed.
    I love when losers like you cant take the truth about their teams so they resort to calling people names or talking trash about someone state or city(especially if they’ve never been there or just listen to here say). Makes you look quite pathetic and ignorant.

  18. omniusprime - Mar 24, 2013 at 8:49 AM

    It’s Dumbtoni’s monumental failure of coaching that allowed the Lakers to blow that big lead against the lowly Wizards. Dumbtoni only has himself to blame for players getting cocky Friday night and losing a sure win. This is why the Lakers won’t go far in the playoffs, they have the most arrogant, ignorant coach in the NBA.

    Thanks Dr. Buss, Rest in Peace!!! Fire Dumbtoni!!! Trade Trash Nash and Steve Flake!!!

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