Antawn Jamison has struggled to make an impact this season. (Gus Ruelas / Associated…)
The Lakers have officially announced the hiring of Mike D'Antoni.
“After speaking with several excellent and well-respected coaching candidates, Dr. Buss, Jim and I all agreed that Mike was the right person at this time to lead the Lakers forward,” said General Manager Mitch Kupchak. “Knowing his style of play and given the current makeup of our roster, we feel Mike is a great fit, are excited to have him as our next head coach and hope he will help our team reach its full potential.”
Interim head coach Bernie Bickerstaff noted that he expects D'Antoni to arrive in Los Angeles around Wednesday.
It remains to be seen how travel-ready the new Lakers coach will be, coming off a recent knee-replacement surgery.
After practice Monday, veteran forward Antawn Jamison talked about dealing with so much change in his first few months with the Lakers.
"It's been a zoo," said Jamison. "It's just a typical day here in L.A."
Jamison joined the team as a free agent this summer after stops in Cleveland, Washington, Dallas and Golden State.
"One thing I like about this team is that we have a lot of veteran guys who have been through turmoil before," said Jamison. "We should be able adjust to this as quickly as possible and really concentrate on the most important thing, which is winning basketball games."
Jamison is looking forward to D'Antoni joining the team.
"We know what he likes to do and we have the pieces to do that," said Jamison. "His philosophy is playing free basketball."
So far Jamison hasn't made much of an impact on the floor, averaging 3.6 points per game on 34.8% shooting from the field.
"I can't wait," said Jamison on D'Antoni. "Another month from now when we start clicking the way we should be and the system's in place."
It's been an adjustment both on and off the floor for the 14-year veteran.
"Once I signed here I got the go-ahead that things are going to be a little bit crazier than I'm used to," said Jamison. "I dealt with LeBron [James] leaving Cleveland; guys bringing firearms into the locker room . . . I'm used to turmoil a little bit."
More than anything, Jamison said he's unhappy with how the team performed, starting the year at 1-4.
"Right now I think we're just disappointed with the way the season started, and the way they fired the coach and so forth. You never want that to happen," said Jamison. "We're just anxious to get to the point where we can play the style of basketball on both ends of the floor that we know we're capable of, having fun and competing at a high level."
The Lakers have won two straight over short-handed teams (Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings). They'll have a tougher challenge on Tuesday night, prior to D'Antoni's arrival, against the San Antonio Spurs.
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