The Los Angeles Lakers will return home to face the Miami Heat on Christmas Day after being blown out in back-to-back road games. Now that Kobe Bryant is expected to miss another six weeks with a fractured knee, the Lakers are looking to form a new identity. And if their fans can’t stick with them while they do that, Mike D’Antoni thinks they should hit the road.
After Monday’s 117-90 loss to the Phoenix Suns, D’Antoni was asked if he has a message for any discouraged Lakers fans.
“If they’re discouraged, then find another team to root for,” he snapped, via Mike Bresnahan of the LA Times. “We’re not going to give up. Are you kidding me? Discouraged? That’s not even fair to these guys.”
The Lakers are 13-15, Kobe is on the shelf again, Steve Nash has not appeared in a game since Nov. 10 and Pau Gasol seems to get more miserable by the day. If role players are unable to step up in a big way, LA will disappear from playoff contention before Bryant even begins practicing again. I’m sure D’Antoni is aware of that, but he was very irritated by the “sky is falling” questions on Tuesday.
“Guys, I mean, it’s like, OK, we lost two road games,” he said. “It takes some adjusting. We’ve got to get somebody healthy. We’ll be back. We’re not going anywhere. We’re going to fight and we’re going to try and stay above .500. We’ve got a nice homestand coming up and if anybody hangs their head, they don’t need to be on our bandwagon.”
D’Antoni was then asked why he didn’t put Nick Young into the game earlier in the third quarter after his 15-point performance in the first half. He gave a very sarcastic response and then ended the press conference.
The best way for D’Antoni to show he is not worried about the future of the team would be to not snap at reporters. I guess it’s too late for that.