Mike D’Antoni wasn’t quite ready to coach an NBA game Sunday night, but only because he hasn’t fully recovered from knee replacement surgery earlier this month.
“I’m a little disappointed. I wanted to be on the bench,” D’Antoni said Sunday night, before the Lakers moved to 4-1 under interim coach Bernie Bickerstaff with a 119-108 victory over Houston. “After talking with [trainer] Gary Vitti … he convinced me a little bit not to do it.”
There were solid reasons for D’Antoni’s decision: pain, fatigue, medication and the inability to move quickly should he need to get out of a player’s way. He’s listed as day-to-day.
“The biggest problem I have,” D’Antoni, who is still using crutches, said, “is just energy kind of waning toward the end [of a game].”.
The Lakers host the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday, then play at Sacramento on Wednesday, which would seem like a tough two days for D’Antoni.
“I do get practices okay and all that’s good, the next step will be a game,” D’Antoni said. “That can be Tuesday, that can be Wednesday, I don’t know yet but with Gary, we’ll figure it out.”