D’Antoni was hired over a week ago to replace Mike Brown who Lakers fired following the team’s 1-4 start to the season. Since then, the Lakers have reversed their record to 4-1 and now sit at .500 for the first time all season with a 5-5 record.
The delay for D’Antoni’s debut is due to the 2005 NBA Coach of the Year’s rehab following having knee replacement surgery and even though he still has several months of rehab remaining the time is now for D’Antoni to begin his journey as the 24th head coach in franchise history.
D’Antoni told members of the media following the team’s shootaround on Tuesday, “I’m too psyched up and too ready to go. I’ll get through this; it’s no big deal.”
The 61-year old D’Antoni will use the seat that former Lakers coach and recent candidate for the position Phil Jackson use to occupy which was elevated to help Jackson with his chronic back aliments.
D’Antoni was ready to coach the Lakers in their 119-108 victory over the Houston Rockets on Sunday however, Los Angeles trainer Gary Vitti advise that he sit out another game before taking to the bench.
The main questions on the minds of many who follow the NBA and all Lakers fans around the world is can D’Antoni’s system work in L.A. and will he be able to lead them to the promise land? After all it was D’Antoni himself who said that it would be a failure if they didn’t serious contend for a title this season.