Mike D’Antoni will make Lakers debut Tuesday, report says


Mike D’Antoni isn’t quite ready to coach a game yet. (Stephen Dunn / Getty Images)

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.

Instead, he will try to make his debut as Los Angeles Lakers‘ coach — a 12 on the 1-10 scale of ballyhoo-ization, Tuesday night, ESPN Los Angeles reports.

“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.”

Follow @CindyBoren on Twitter and on Facebook

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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.

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Cindy Boren · November 19, 2012

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