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Lakers to introduce new Coach Mike D'Antoni on Thursday

November 14, 2012|By Eric Pincus
  • The Lakers had Kobe Bryant's approval to hire Mike D'Antoni.
The Lakers had Kobe Bryant's approval to hire Mike D'Antoni. (Lisa Blumenfeld / Getty…)

The Lakers will formally introduce Coach Mike D'Antoni on Thursday after practice.

Both D'Antoni and General Manager Mitch Kupchak will address the media at the team's facility in El Segundo.

After flirting with Phil Jackson to return for a third coaching stint with the franchise, the Lakers reversed course and inked a four-year deal with D'Antoni, the final year a team option.

D'Antoni told Steve Mason and John Ireland on AM 710 radio, "The team is built to win a championship this year and next year. That's what the expectations are. I know that's high."

Formerly with the Phoenix Suns, New York Knicks and Denver Nuggets, D'Antoni had greatest success in the NBA when paired with point guard Steve Nash.

"It's a premier job. Obviously when I heard about the possibility, I got excited about it," said D'Antoni. "It was off the charts how excited I was."

The team's new coach will certainly elaborate on his vision for the team Thursday. D’Antoni comes in with a reputation for offensive creativity, especially with Nash running the point.

The Lakers' star point guard is  sidelined with a non-displaced leg fracture. Nash is unlikely to play against the Suns on Friday or the Houston Rockets on Sunday.

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Bernie Bickerstaff loses spot as greatest Lakers coach of all time

You can email Eric Pincus at eric.pincus@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.

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