Practice Report: Players Support Lakers Coach D’Antoni

The news surrounding the Lakers new hire of Mike D’Antoni as head coach has been primarily geared towards the Lakers NOT hiring Phil Jackson. However, the players are eager to take the focus off of Jackson and instead channel that energy into excitement to work with D’Antoni.

Many critics have brought up D’Antoni’s lax on the defensive end as a foreseeable problem in L.A., but Howard stressed that with guys that love to play defense, D’Antoni’s system could be extremely effective. Metta World Peace, Antawn Jamison and Dwight Howard all spoke on the new possibilities with D’Antoni’s offensive system after practice today.

Bernie Bickerstaff, the Lakers current interim coach who will be coaching the Lakers at home as they take on the Spurs Tuesday, also seemed elated for the 2004-2005 Coach of the Year to take over. It’s been no secret that Bickerstaff isn’t the biggest fan of media attention, as reported by Mark Medina of the L.A. Daily News.

 “I told him hurry up and get in here and take this seat so I can get some of these microphones out of my face.,” Bickerstaff said following the Lakers’ practice Monday here at the team’s practice facility.

According to Lakers reporter Mike Trudell, it’s expected that Bickerstaff will stick to his same strategy going into Tuesday night’s game, which has been to “stay out of the way” and let Kobe go to work. Bryant had 20 points and six assists in their win over Sacramento, and Howard led with 23 points and 18 boards.

Mike D’Antoni is still waiting on medical clearance to travel. According to Mike Trudell, the new Lakers head coach could be ready to go as early as Wednesday, although later in the week is more likely.

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Did you miss the highlights from last game? If so, check them out below!

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