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Lakers' Mike D'Antoni delays debut again

The new Lakers coach, who is recovering from knee replacement surgery, watches the game against the Houston Rockets from the locker room with injured point guards Steve Nash and Steve Blake.

November 18, 2012|By Mike Bresnahan, Los Angeles Times
  • Mike D'Antoni watched the game from the locker room.
Mike D'Antoni watched the game from the locker room. (Stephen Dunn / Getty Images )

The Lakers' locker room is incredibly active on game nights. Problem is, a lot of it happens while the team's on the court.

Coach Mike D'Antoni was in there Sunday with injured point guards Steve Nash and Steve Blake, the three of them watching the Lakers beat Houston, 119-108, at Staples Center.

"There's about 10 of us back there, which is not good," D'Antoni said.

D'Antoni's debut with the Lakers was postponed at least one more game when he was declared out again because of recent knee-replacement surgery.

Nash has been out of action almost as long as D'Antoni. He missed his eighth game because of a small fracture in his left leg.

"I did have a knee replacement and I'm beating him back," D'Antoni said jokingly. "That just doesn't look good."

Blake missed a third consecutive game because of a strained abdominal muscle.

D'Antoni didn't coach partly because he was concerned about his own energy level dropping during the game. The team was also worried about his lack of mobility in case players came crashing toward him during a play.

D'Antoni had to be talked out of coaching the game by his wife, Laurel, and longtime Lakers trainer Gary Vitti.

"They kept [saying], 'What are you doing?'" D'Antoni said. "My wife said, 'Why are you doing this?' I kept going and being headstrong. They kind of sat me down."

D'Antoni said he hoped to coach Tuesday against Brooklyn or Wednesday against Sacramento.

"I'm a little disappointed," he said. "I'm anxious to get out there and get ready to go. The biggest problem I have is just the energy waning toward the end."

Assistant coach Bernie Bickerstaff improved to 4-1 since taking over game duties after Mike Brown was fired Nov. 9.

Bynum bowled over

Former Lakers center Andrew Bynum injured his already tender left knee in a highly unusual way.

"I think it happened bowling, to be honest," he told reporters Sunday.

Bynum hasn't played this season for the Philadelphia 76ers because of a bone bruise in his right knee. A recent medical exam also revealed a bone bruise in his left knee, not to mention weakened cartilage in both knees, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

"In hindsight, I guess you really shouldn't go bowling, but it's not anything more than what I've done in my rehab," Bynum said.

"I'm kind of taking the position that if that happens bowling, what happens while dunking?"

Bynum, 25, said he hoped to return to game action by mid-January.

He was traded by the Lakers in August as part of the Dwight Howard deal. Bynum is in the last year of a contract paying him $16 million this season.

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