Shootaround Report: Kobe Bryant Says Mike D’Antoni His First Choice

Lakers fans, if you have faith in the purple and gold, it’s time to lay off the “we still want Phil” chants. At shootaround this morning, according to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, even Kobe Bryant said Mike D’Antoni was his number one choice.

Not only did Kobe refer to D’Antoni as an “offensive genius,” he told everyone to lay off the notion that D’Antoni’s defensive lax is an issue. News flash for everyone partaking in Phil and D’Antoni comparisons, Kobe can count how many times he ran defensive drills with Jackson on one hand.

Both Bryant and Steve Nash, positively used the word ‘feisty’ to describe D’Antoni at shootaround this morning, According to Lakers reporter Mike Trudell, Bryant even praised his “temperamental” side.

To be fair, according to Sam Amick of USA Today, Bryant admitted that surprise coincided with his excitement of the new hire.

“I mean I really didn’t know what to expect, to be honest. I think we all were kind of thinking it was going to be Phil. It probably caught Mike (D’Antoni) off-guard a little bit too, but I’m excited.”

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D’Antoni will not make his Lakers coaching debut tonight against the San Antonio Spurs, but according to Lakers spokesman John Black he will be introduced to the team and the general public on Thursday. Although subject to change, D’Antoni told Los Angeles Times columnist T.J. Simers that if everything goes according to plan, he will be coaching Sunday against the Houston Rockets.

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

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