But it’s clear that D’Antoni is getting tired of the Lakers losing. Lakers fans are, too.
In this report from the L.A. Times’ T.J. Simers, D’Antoni responds to all the criticism.
The Lakers are dead, and I’m telling D’Antoni he’s getting killed in Los Angeles.
“I don’t care,” says D’Antoni, and so fans can curse, scream and carry on like there is no tomorrow.
“I don’t care. If you hadn’t told me I’m getting killed, I wouldn’t have known.”
You might want to curse, scream and carry on a little louder. Or start chanting, “Phil, Phil, Phil.”
“I don’t read and I don’t listen,” D’Antoni says. “I don’t watch anything but tape. I think about the team and I live my life. Then I’ll have a nice dinner and a glass of wine.
“I’m pretty secure in what I do. I don’t need public approval. I try as hard as I can and if it works out, great. If not, I tried.”
Trying is not good enough, unfortunately, in this town. The Lakers and their fans expect championships. And at 9-14, the Lakers don’t even look like an average team right now, let alone a championship-caliber squad.
D’Antoni seems to get more and more testy as the Lakers pile up their losses. But it’s the same song and dance for the past two weeks. The Lakers have lost six of their last seven games and with still no certain timetable for both Steve Nash and Pau Gasol, there’s no end in sight. D’Antoni can get testy all he wants but if the Lakers continue to be careless with the ball on the offense and act like stationary chairs on defense, the losses will keep on piling.
And right now, it seems like he doesn’t even want to deal with the media. He just hopes this whole thing turns around.
The other night he gets testy when he’s asked if he’s embarrassed, well on his way to hearing the same question Thursday night with the Lakers losing after the first quarter, 41-27.
“I took offense to that,” says D’Antoni about being asked the question in Cleveland. “I would be embarrassed if I was running around on my wife and I got caught or if I was not doing the job as hard as I can do it.
“I only get embarrassed if I’m lazy, but if I’m working as hard as I can go I’m not embarrassed. I’m disappointed and I’m thinking I’ll get it next time. I should have said that; that was my mistake.”
Well, he may not be embarrassed but it’s certainly not easy for him. Again, there were sky-high expectations for the Lakers but it’s been pretty wild that they have gone through three coaches. Maybe the return of Steve Nash and Pau Gasol will turn things around… but what if the Lakers continue to lose even with those players back? More questions will be asked and more people will call for D’Antoni’s head.
D’Antoni is on the defensive right now. Lakers fans just wish that the defense was played on the court instead of off the court.