Mike D’Antoni Tells Lakers Players Their ‘Season Starts Sunday’

Mike D’Antoni Tells Lakers Players Their ‘Season Starts Sunday’


NBA: Denver Nuggets at Los Angeles LakersThings aren’t going the way they were supposed to for the Lakers this season. A record of 15-21 through the first 36 games of the season would have seemed unfathomable at the onset of the season, but that’s currently where this team is sitting. After the latest loss, an embarrassing blowout defeat at the hands of the Oklahoma City Thunder, head coach Mike D’Antoni gave his players some stark words, according to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN Los Angeles.

“I told the team that the biggest thing is that our season starts Sunday,” coach Mike D’Antoni said, referring to the Lakers’ home game against the Cleveland Cavaliers. “We put ourselves in this ditch and we are the only ones that can get ourselves out.”

D’Antoni has been searching for answers ever since taking over the Lakers head coaching job two months ago. Thus far, he’s been unable to get anything working on a consistent basis for this team, and now they’re looking at the very real possibility that they will miss the postseason for the first time since 2005.

On Sunday the Lakers will take on the Cavaliers, a team that defeated the Lakers 100-94 back on Dec. 11th in Cleveland. After that they’ll take on the Milwaukee Bucks for the first time this season, followed by a matchup with the defending NBA champions – the Miami Heat. And, unless this team gets things together in a hurry, that game could look far too similar to what we witnessed last night with Oklahoma City.

  • bert1913

    Will someone please buy Mike a calendar?

  • Oliver from Germany

    Is there someone who believes his words??? This man is a no-go!!! In two months he didn’t find any solution, rotation or defense on the court. He is a shame as the Lakers coach!!! I would like to sell my league pass.

  • RJ

    The season ended when Mike was hired over Phil.

  • Dynasty

    What a stupid statement to say! “Season starts Saturday…” You f..king kidding me?! The season should’ve started the first day you coached the team! The Lakers are not going to make the post season … that’s it. I’m not a hater… it’s so obvious.. every other team in the NBA has figured this team out: NO DEFENSE…JUST DRIVE INTO THE LANE TO THE BASKET … that’s all you frickin have to do to beat the Lakers. This is the worst defense I’ve ever seen. Kobe’s offense has been an “A” all season, but his defense is a “C-“… his defense has clearly dropped out … so many times this season he’s “lost” his man, or he just stands there. Yes, the Lakers don’t have Howard, Gasol, and Hill right now…but the defense problem is still there even with them…

    All those folks saying to trade Howard are idiots — sure Howard is not 100% and he needs to improve his free throws, but he’s not the source of the Lakers problems. I’d say he’s playing pretty good and will get better once healthy. I’d rather Howard than the head case Bynum.

    Lakers should trade Gasol … he no longer has the fire … he doesn’t have the mental toughness …his contributions are severely lacking for what he’s being paid. In 3 games, Earl Clark has played as good if not better than Gasol all season.

    Nash needs to be more aggressive (so the pick n rolls can be more effective). Lakers need a better bench… ain’t going to happen with Sacre, Morris, Duhon, Jamison, and Blake.

    Can’t do anything now with D’Antoni … stuck with him for 3 years… Lakers would at least make the playoffs and made a good run with PJ.

    • JohnC

      I agree: trade Gasol! Now!! Since I’m a Gasol fan before an LA fan, I would rather have Pau traded to Oklahoma, and Perkings as a replacement of Howard. LA fans happy and it would be the first tittle for these Thunder, 3rd for Pau… or rather allow this roster play according to their potential (without injuries), then they’ll become a strong, chemistry-donor team. Chemistry will be huge after all this struggle, and when these players’ characteristics and skills are felt as part of the same project. Nowadays, D’Antoni’s funny ideas are not making it happen.

    • the equalizer

      @dynasty…no it’s not a stupid statement….the season does start sunday..,any coach would say that when their team has their backs against the wall..it doesn’t matter what coach dantoni says or does, you pj lovers will continue to bash dantoni good or bad…he had no training camp, preseason, iinjuries and the starters have only played around 117 minutes together…that’s the reality and those are the facts…anybody that has a clue about sports, knows dantoni is a good coach…he wouldn’t be where he is today if he wasn’t…

      many lake fans assume pj wanted the job…we will never know…he never said yes on the sat…so go ahead and keep living in the past re phil….keep banging your head against the wall…hope you have a blast…

      lakes will make the playoffs..no team will want to face the lakes, b/c they will be running on all cylinders by then…gooo lakes

      • laker

        hope u r right )

  • Benjie Estuche, OKC

    OK coach. We will give you the benefit of a doubt. But, please, read Sun Tzu again and learn from him on how to utilize manpower and resources.

  • Duh

    He isn’t saying the first 36 games were not part of the season…he is telling the team to forget about those games and move on. Look to Sunday. The lakers are so frustrated with the losses that they are not playing right. Mike is coaching them. I Love how people call him an idiot while thinking he is saying the season actually starts Sunday or implying that he or the lakers weren’t trying during the first 36 games. Who is really the idiot?

    • the equalizer

      exactly @duh…

  • Crystal

    I want to give D’Antoni a chance but so far he has done NOTHING significant. His method of coaching has no defense and the Lakers are not gonna win games giving up 60+ points by halftime and 100+ points in an entire game. Things have to change or his days in LA are numbered. Him saying ”the season starts Sunday”…I’m not even gonna bother..

    • the equalizer

      @duh…like i’ve stated b4, the starters have only played 117 minutes together…any coach, including phil would have an uphill climb…there is a lack of chemistry on both ends of the floor b/c the starters haven’t played the minutes together…to say he doesn’t coach defense is ludicrous…yes, okc scored 60 + points in 1h, but they shot 59%…they were making shots..defense requires desire and effort…the lakes have shown that they can play good dee, but they don’t do it consistently every night…the lakes have to give 100% effort every night on both ends of the floor…Dantoni has stated that he is trying to instill that mindset…the lakes aren’t that good to just show up and win…the lake players need to hold themselves accountable…

  • http://twitter.com/approvaljunkies approvaljunkies

    and if they lose it actually ends on Sunday!!!

  • hookedonnews

    I think what D’Antoni probably meant was that they are through with the difficult series against the teams in the West. Now they are going to play some teams which they should be able to beat with their depleted roster. Hopefully they will have Gasol and Howard back soon, and they can go on a run. He also probably meant it’s now or never because time is running out to salvage this season. Since there is NO CHANCE that Phil Jackson is going to coach this team for at least this season and next if you believe what he and Jim Buss are saying, it would be great to see the fans get behind this team and their coach. Fans can be a positive or a negative for their teams. All the “we want Phil” chants in the world are not going to bring him back or help the team.

    • the equalizer

      Exactly@hooked…dantoni will get this team turned around and get em ready for the playoffs…the lake show is coming soon to a theatre near you…goo lakes…