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Lakers: Week 3 in Review

November 19, 2012|By Eric Pincus
  • Lakers Coach Mike D'Antoni
Lakers Coach Mike D'Antoni (Stephen Dunn / Getty Images )

When the Lakers hired Mike D'Antoni instead of Phil Jackson to replace Mike Brown, it threw more than just the fans for a loop -- even Magic Johnson came out strongly against the hire and Lakers executive Jim Buss.

But General Manager Mitch Kupchak later said team officials didn't want to hire a coach based on public pressure, and Kobe Bryant proclaimed his support for Buss and D'Antoni -- noting that when he thought the team's former coach wasn't available, D'Antoni was the first person he mentioned to management.

Before D'Antoni arrived, interim Coach Bernie Bickerstaff suffered his lone defeat thus far as the team fell to the San Antonio Spurs on a late Danny Green three-pointer. In that game, Bryant played point guard down the stretch with Metta World Peace in the backcourt guarding Tony Parker, which arguably worked, the final score not withstanding.

There was other news outside of the coaching drama. The Los Angeles City Council declared Nov. 14 "Dwight Howard Day," Robert Horry joined the Time Warner Cable SportsNet broadcast and DirecTV finally came to terms with TWC, allowing subscribers to watch SportsNet and its Spanish-language sister channel.

The Lakers also took a moment to finally honor the NBA's all-time scorer, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, with a statue.

On Thursday, the Lakers finally introduced D'Antoni, who made a strong first impression, saying he would like to bring the team back to something close to "Showtime" with a faster pace of basketball.

D'Antoni also noted that he's confident in his team's bench, which to date had been relatively unproductive offensively.

Steve Nash continued to sit out with a leg fracture, but the Lakers took out his former team, the Phoenix Suns. Steve Blake suffered an abdominal strain that gave second-year guard Darius Morris an opportunity to learn on the court.

Meanwhile, Bryant continued to put up some of the most efficient numbers of his career, taking over as the league's leading scorer.

D'Antoni is expected to coach the team's next game, against the Brooklyn Nets. If that's what happens, Bickerstaff would go down as the Lakers' most successful regular-season coach of all time, based on winning percentage (80%), after the team's 119-108 win over the Houston Rockets.


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