Source: D'Antoni hopes to debut Tuesday night
Los Angeles Lakers head coach Mike D'Antoni will not coach Sunday's game against the Houston Rockets. D'Antoni is delaying his debut as the 24th coach in Lakers franchise history because he is not fully recovered from a recent knee replacement surgery.
LOS ANGELES -- Mike D'Antoni did not coach the Los Angeles Lakers' game Sunday against the Houston Rockets. D'Antoni delayed his debut as the 24th coach in Lakers franchise history because he is not fully recovered from recent knee replacement surgery.
"I'm a little disappointed, I wanted to be on the bench," D'Antoni told reporters before the game. "After talking with (Lakers trainer) Gary Vitti ... he convinced me a little bit not to do it."
D'Antoni plans to make his Lakers debut Tuesday at home against Brooklyn, a source close to the coach told ESPN.
Lakers spokesman John Black said a combination of pain, fatigue and the medication D'Antoni is taking caused the coach to opt out of the game late Sunday afternoon. Lack of mobility was also a concern, according to Black, as D'Antoni could potentially face a situation where he would have to avoid a player careening toward the sideline.
"The biggest problem I have is just energy kind of waning toward the end (of the game)," D'Antoni said.
D'Antoni is day to day, according to Black. The Lakers play a back-to-back starting with the Nets and then traveling to Sacramento on Wednesday.
"I do get practices OK 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."
Bernie Bickerstaff resumed his role as interim head coach. With Sunday night's 119-108 win over Hoston, Bickerstaff is 4-1 since taking over for the fired Mike Brown.
D'Antoni told reporters before the game that Bickerstaff would remain on his staff for the remainder of the season.
"That's nice to know," Bickerstaff said, when informed of D'Antoni's plans to keep him as an assistant coach.
The Lakers also announced the hiring of Dan D'Antoni -- Mike's older brother -- as an assistant coach.
Dan D'Antoni joins the team after spending the past four seasons as an assistant on his brother's staff with the New York Knicks.
Mike D'Antoni planned to watch the game from the bowels of Staples Center while receiving treatment on his knee in the trainer's room with "the Steves" -- Steve Blake (strained abdomen) and Steve Nash (fractured fibula), who are also out. The 61-year-old coach said he would address the team pregame, at halftime and postgame, but trust Bickerstaff with all of his in-game decisions.
"I think he and Steve Nash are waiting to make their debut together," Bickerstaff said jokingly.
ESPNLosAngeles.com's Ramona Shelburne contributed to this report.
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