Mike D’Antoni plans to retain coaching staff

MEMPHIS, Tenn — Instead of reshuffling his coaching staff, Mike D’Antoni plans to retain all of the assistants that previously worked for Mike Brown.

“What kind of Thanksgiving would it be to send somebody [home]?” D’Antoni said before the Lakers played against the Memphis Grizzlies here at FedEx Forum. “I didn’t steal Christmas or anything. We’re good.”

D’Antoni had previously confirmed he intended to keep Bernie Bickerstaff for the rest of the season after leading the Lakers to a 4-1 record as interim coach following Brown’s firing. Though he highlighted the possibility he’d keep other assistants, D’Antoni made no guarantees. Although he didn’t name each assistant by name, D’Antoni’s admission means Chuck Person, Steve Clifford, Eddie Jordan and Darvin Ham will also stay through this season. D’Antoni also added his brother, Dan, 11 days ago as an assistant after spending four years working together with the New York Knicks.

“I don’t know if I trust him yet,” D’Antoni joked. I’m usually a pretty positive guy and I trust people. That might get myself in trouble, but that’s okay. I think I can trust these guys. They do a great job. If not, we can talk about it. But that’s not my focus. My focus is on the team and getting better. These guys work hard and we’re all going in the same direction.”

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