While at Las Vegas Summer League, we caught up with Laker coach Mike D’Antoni, who was taking in the Los Angeles Clippers/Atlanta Hawks game.
FORUM BLUE & GOLD: Coach D’Antoni, how did last year’s Laker season compare to all of the other years in your coaching career?
MIKE D’ANTONI: It is what it is. It’s fun, it’s exciting. We just had to deal with a lot of stuff that happened last year. But in the end, we ended the year with a positive note. We’re looking forward to this coming year.
FB&G: Did the “WE WANT PHIL” chants bother you? I know it’s tough to follow a man who has won 11 championship rings.
MDA: You can understand it. You don’t invite it. But it doesn’t bother you.
FB&G: Do you expect Kobe back by the start of the regular season?
MDA: Yeah, I hope so. If anybody can do it, he can do it.
FB&G: As far as Dwight goes, what was your first reaction when you heard about him going to Houston?
MDA: It wasn’t a real big surprise. He just had to make a decision what was best for him. He did it, we’ll move on and do the best we can do.
FB&G: Lastly, I know it’s July. A lot of people seem to be writing off the Lakers. Should we write them off?
MDA: I would never write Kobe Bryant off. Or Steve Nash. Or Pau Gasol. I can understand why they do but that’s okay. You don’t win a championship in July. And we’ll see what happens.
We’d like to thank D’Antoni for a few minutes of his time.