No, this time he really means it.
Mike D’Antoni told reporters Tuesday that he will be on the sidelines for the first time as Lakers coach this Tuesday night when they take on the Brooklyn Nets. He said he got 12 hours sleep last night and thought the adrenaline would carry him through the game. Which sounds like something Metta World Peace would say, but we’ll let it slide.
D’Antoni has been the official Lakers coach for the past two games, taking over for the fired Mike Brown, but following knee replacement surgery less than a month ago he had concerns about his energy level and mobility (you don’t want to get run over by a player while standing on the sidelines, for example).
He sat the last couple games out while Bernie Bickerstaff coached the team and tried to implement some of D’Antoni’s offense. And the Lakers went 2-0 and scored 114 and 119 points in the wins.
But that was against much less formidable competition than the 6-2 Nets.
The Bernie Bickerstaff era with the Lakers comes to an end with him 4-1. A better Lakers coach winning percentage than Phil Jackson or Pat Riley, if he ever wants to rub that in their faces.