New Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni won't coach team Friday vs. the Phoenix Suns, will debut against the Rockets on Sunday.
New Los Angeles Lakers head coach Mike D'Antoni was introduced to the media Thursday afternoon. From a storyline standpoint, it would've made the most sense for D'Antoni to debut Friday against the Suns, the team he made a name for himself with from 2003-2008. According to Yahoo!'s Marc Spears, D'Antoni, who recently had knee replacement surgery, won't be on the Lakers' bench Friday and will make his debut Sunday vs. the Rockets.
D'Antoni attended practice Thursday on crutches because of a knee replacement surgery earlier this month. His brother, Dan, ran drills with the Lakers, and interim coach Bernie Bickerstaff was also present. It is expected that Bickerstaff will coach the Lakers on Friday.
At the press conference, D'Antoni said he was simply happy to be with the Lakers and working once again. He added that he felt fortunate to be offered the position considering Los Angeles had spoken with former head coach Phil Jackson.