Newly appointed Los Angeles Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni has spent her first days as the team’s new head coach on crutches or in the team’s training room. Now the coach hopes his energy levels by Sunday afternoon will allow him to coach his new team.
According to D’Antoni:
“I think (I will). Unless I wake up too tired. I’m getting there. It’s getting a lot better.”
D’Antoni’s energy levels have been out of whack ever since the head coach underwent knee replacement surgery. In a sign of good faith, the Lakers coach met members of the media on Saturday without the aid of his crutches.
When asked about his readiness to coach, D’Antoni said:
“It’s close by. I’ve just got to get well and healthy enough, and strong enough. My thing is energy. My knee is OK. I just have to get my energy up to where it should be.”
The head coach was in good spirits. After his team pulled away from the Suns to win Friday nights game, D’antoni, who has not yet taken over day-to-day coaching responsibilities, joked:
“My coaching already took over.”
Mike D’Antoni admits that the team still has work to do, telling ESPN:
“I thought we were a little tired. I didn’t think we were aggressive early. The second half was a lot better. It’s one of those deals where guys just tightened up and did a little bit better. They were a little more conscientious and put a little more energy into it. But when everything is new and you’re thinking about what you’re supposed to do instead of playing, things happen like that.”
D’Antoni will have a lot to prove after the Los Angeles Lakers head office chose his services over beloved coach Phil Jackson.