Mike D’Antoni is eager to coach a game yet. (Stephen Dunn / Getty Images)
A little over a week after he was hired, Mike D’Antoni will make his coaching debut with the Los Angeles Lakers in a game against the Brooklyn Nets tonight at the Staples Center.
“I’m too psyched up and too ready to go, I’ll get through this,” D’Antoni said (via ESPN). “The biggest problem I have is just energy kind of waning.”
D’Antoni, 61, had to push back his originally planned debut Sunday night because of pain, fatigue and concern about his mobility during games. He is still using crutches after undergoing knee replacement surgery earlier this month and has only worked practices since being hired Nov. 11. Assistant coach Bernie Bickerstaff has filled in as interim coach.
The Lakers fired Mike Brown on Nov. 9 after a 1-4 start. The team is 4-1 under Bickerstaff, with D’Antoni watching games from the locker room. Bickerstaff has been told that he’ll remain on D’Antoni’s staff.
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After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.