The mounting frustration over the Lakers’ poor start to the season culminated with new head coach Mike D’Antoni snapping at a media member following the team’s 100-94 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday.
Los Angeles Times columnist T.J. Simers, who has been an irritant to most LA sports figures for the past two decades, was grilling D’Antoni over the team’s lack of defense when he got a rise out of the coach.
Apparently Simers was questioning whether the Lakers had practiced defense on Tuesday before their game.
"You’re criticized for (unintelligible) defense. You come here, you go to shootaround this morning, you do a film session, and a little old shooting on everyone’s own …” Simers was saying before D’Antoni interrupted him.
“I didn’t see you at the film session,” D’Antoni interjected.
“So that’s not true then?” Simers asked.
“No, that’s not true,” D’Antoni answered.
“So you worked on defense then?” Simers pressed.
“Hell yeah. We worked for a half-hour. You’re starting to piss me off. You’re starting to piss me off,” he repeated. “Because you said something that’s not factually correct.”
D’Antoni apparently went on to defend how much the team works on defense before Time Warner Cable’s feed of the postgame news conference cut away.
The Lakers have lost three games in a row and five of their last six. They’re now 9-13 on the season — including a 4-8 record for D’Antoni — and the struggles are wearing on everyone.
Kobe Bryant admitted after the game that this has been the toughest time of his career.
“I’ve been through tough situations before in the past, and I’d always blow my top and go crazy,” Bryant said. “Then I had a head coach who always kept calm and focused on the Xs and Os of things, and I learned from that. I’m trying to do the same thing here, but I’m not going to lie, I’m really trying my patience with that Zen thing.”
The Lakers were awful in the preseason (they failed to win a game), and they have been below average during the regular season. Patient people have preached that we should wait until Steve Nash returns from his leg injury before judging the team, but there is only so much he can fix. This team is in trouble, and it seems like they know it.
As much of a pain in the rear Simers is, he is not afraid to ask the questions many are thinking. In a way, he’s good to have around for checks and balances.
And D'Antoni shouldn't be too upset with himself over this blowup; Simers has even managed to get the best of Phil Jackson in the past. Remember this 2009 incident?
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CLEVELAND -- Mike D'Antoni stood outside the visiting locker room and stared at the ground.
His eyes were bloodshot, his hair a mess, his tie out of sorts. It was as if he had spent the previous 48 minutes tumbling in a clothes dryer.
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D'Antoni was speaking after...
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The Los Angeles Lakers are no stranger to scrutiny, but the scrutiny they have been under the last few weeks is high even for them. What seemed to be a run of bad luck with injuries and close losses exploded on Tuesday night when they went into Cleveland and got beat down by Kyrie Irving, Anderson Varejao…and little else. Their defense, analysts agree, seems to be their biggest...
Via Hinton's Sports Highlights
December 13, 2012
We’re almost a quarter ways through the NBA season, and the Lakers, who were supposed to go undefeated, still haven’t found their rhythm, despite the coaching change made just over a month ago. Since Mike D’Antoni took over, the Lakers are only 4-8. Their offense is mediocre and still 99% Kobe Bryant, 1% whoever Kobe … Continue reading »
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Mike D'Antoni never built the team he wanted in New York. Now he looks at the Knicks and sees what he would like his Lakers to become.
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LOS ANGELES -- When the Los Angeles Lakers lost four of five games to begin the season -- capped off by a defeat against the Utah Jazz in early November -- coach Mike Brown was fired days later. Maybe new coach Mike D'Antoni should watch out. The Jazz sent the Lakers to their fourth loss in five games -- again -- with a 117-110 win at Staples Center on Sunday night. Facing...
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