Mike D’Antoni Won’t Win by Taking Shots at LA Lakers Fans

With his team bitten hard by the injury bug and the losses starting to mount, Los Angeles Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni lashed out at the team's restless fanbase.


UPDATED on Dec. 24 at 4:15 p.m. ET

With the Lakers' public relations team in damage control mode, the coach backed away from his previous criticisms of Purple and Gold nation, via Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times:

Are these simply hollow, reactionary words? Or did the coach really get caught up in the heat of the moment? Per Los Angeles Daily News' Mike Medina:

It seems as if D'Antoni is wisely asking fans to concentrate on the aspect he should have highlighted himself the first time around: sticking up for his guys and focusing on the positives. Via Dave McMenamin of ESPN:

We'll see how Lakers fans feel when they greet their coach for Wednesday's home tilt with the defending two-time champion Miami Heat.

--End of update--


Given his medically thinned rotation, no one would blame coach Mike D'Antoni for the struggles of his Los Angeles Lakers.

But if there's heat burning under his coaching seat now, then he was the one setting the fire.

After a worst-case-scenario road trip—two losses by an average of 23 points—the Lakers are hobbling into their Christmas showdown with the Miami Heat. There isn't a healthy point guard on the roster, and the shock is still settling in from Kobe Bryant's knee fracture.

For a franchise as proud as this, surely an injury-riddled 13-15 start would be just cause for disappointment, discouragement and all other emotional letdowns, right?

Wrong—at least according to the coach.

"If [Lakers fans are] discouraged, then find another team to root for," the coach said after his team suffered a 117-90 rout by the P...

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