Posted December 24, 2013

Mike D’Antoni tells disgruntled Lakers fans to find another team

NBA
Mike D'Antoni said the Lakers will keep fighting despite several key injuries. (Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Mike D’Antoni said the Lakers will keep fighting despite several key injuries. (Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

On the heels of a devastating road trip that included a 27-point loss to the Suns and a 19-point loss to the Warriors, Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni told disgruntled fans they should find a new team to root for.

A string of injuries to key players including superstar Kobe Bryant and its three top point guards – Steve Nash, Steve Blake and Jordan Farmar – has been a factor in the Lakers’ 13-15 start to the 2013-14 season. Criticism of the team’s effort in its lopsided road losses caused D’Antoni to bristle as the Lakers return for a Christmas Day nationally televised game against the two-time defending NBA champion Heat.

D’Antoni challenged discouraged fans to change their allegiance if they’re not will to support the team during tough times.

From ESPN Los Angeles:

“Why would I be discouraged?” D’Antoni said. “We’re fighting with a bunch of good guys that played well before and they’ll play [well] again. If [the fans] are discouraged, then, you know, find another team to root for. I’m all right. We’re not going to give up. Are you kidding me? Discouraged? That’s not even fair to these guys.

“[Missing] the playmaking is a big deal, there’s no doubt about it,” D’Antoni said after L.A. mustered only 12 assists on its 30 field goals. “But again, we’re going to be fine. I don’t want to keep harping. I know we have excuses. We’re not going to hang our heads and we’re going to go out and we’re going to battle Wednesday [against the Miami Heat on Christmas Day] and we’ll get this done.”

“It’s like, ‘OK, we lost two road games,’” D’Antoni said. “We were 1-5 [on the road] at one time, right? It takes some adjusting. It takes some adjusting. We got to get somebody healthy. We’ll be back. We’re not going anywhere. We’re going to fight and we’re going to try to stay above .500. We got a nice homestand coming up, and if anybody hangs their head, then they don’t need to be on our bandwagon. We’re going to fight and we’re going to be fine.”

JENKINS: Kobe’s latest injury opens door for Lakers to rebuild


14 comments
Marko_Viter
Marko_Viter

Hiring D'Antoni is team sports' biggest blunder. The man should sell popcorn instead!

kaiser71
kaiser71

dantoni needs to STFU!!!!!!

aesalama
aesalama

the only thing i would say to him, is you are the one who should leave and look for other team to coach that if anyone want you. he should be so grateful that he is coaching the lakers and still has job.

what an arrogant man!!!!!!!

me1
me1

Unbelievable...tell your fans to get F-ed. The fact that this man still has a job today only proved how messed up the Lakers have become. 

mikald4
mikald4

No prob, coach.  I'll go w/ the Clippers.  Then i can still say i'm an  LA fan.  WOO  HOOOO !

NoThanksESPNFacebook
NoThanksESPNFacebook

Wish Chef Boy Ar Dee would take his own advice. That being said I like the guys that are still healthy but sometimes it does becomes a lot of 1 on 1. When they make that extra pass good things happen. I hope it sticks or Farmar comes back when he is supposed to.

eddie767
eddie767

The only thing I can say to this is "Get him Kobe". This guy is messing with the wrong fan base or he wants to get fired.

NegotiatorCM
NegotiatorCM

I understand the coach's frustration but it's bad for your brand relationship with fans who attend games and/or buy merchandise to tell them if they don't like the product to go elsewhere. Reminds me of Bo Pelini at Nebraska. With all the work the marketing and sales people do within the organization and all the financial investment in those areas, as well as product acquisition and development expenses, insulting your customer base is a self-inflicted wound and alienation.

Selanne
Selanne

@aesalama I agree! This one of the best coaching jobs in sports and he's an ingrate.

Selanne
Selanne

@me1 The day they hired this clown showed how messed up they are.

ricardo4455
ricardo4455

@me1 Mike should realize he's expendable and we aren't. We''ll be connected to the Lakers long after he's gone, hopefully sooner than later.

ricardo4455
ricardo4455

@NegotiatorCM This comment shows the coach's mentality. He's never won anything major and the hire was a very bad decision and the organization  should begin the rebuilding by biting th ebule and hire a new coach. He's run the veterans into the ground and does not seem to know how to utilize all the seven footers he has on the roster. They should be dominating in the paint and they don't even operate there. 

I've been a season ticket holder for over forty years and have never been as upset as I am at this time. I've been through several bad stretches and have never been told to go elsewhere if I'm unhappy. 

great marketing, Mike. 

Let's get response from Jim, Jeanie and Mitch.