Mike D’Antoni ignores phone calls from friends who are Lakers fans

The minute he took this job, Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni shared several friends who are Lakers fans hardly seemed thrilled with his hire.

As plenty have expressed during recent losses at Staples Center, those fans also wanted Phil Jackson. The Lakers (15-21) enter tonight’s game against the Cleveland Cavaliers (9-29) fielding a 10-16 record under D’Antoni’s watch. What have those Lakers fans said to him in the midst of this current six-game losing streak?

“I don’t talk to anybody,” D”Antoni said. “I have friends who call and I might get back to them a month late. They know I’m messed up. I got about 85 calls, but I don’t call anybody.”

D’Antoni apparently won’t hear those friends eager to leave a message offering encouragement, criticism or both.

“I don’t have voicemails,” he said. “I just deleted them. I don’t respond. I can’t muster enough. I don’t want to hear it first of all and I want to talk about something else. So I’m kind of in a cocoon. But I think that’s most coaches. They get in that bunker mentality, everybody is disappointed. You don’t know why sometimes. But you keep working and keep trying.”

The Lakers have lost six consecutive games for the first time since 2007. In those losses, the Lakers have allowed an average of 111.83 points per game. Meanwhile, the Lakers are playing without most of their frontline, including Dwight Howard (right shoulder), Pau Gasol (concussion) and Jordan Hill (season-ending hip injury).

Yup, there’s very little positive Lakers news to report these days.

But D’Antoni says he at least feels well physically after having knee replacement surgery in early November,

“Although you might not know it, I’m off medication,” D’Antoni said with a laugh. “I might go back on it. I was feeling pretty good about a month ago.”

D’Antoni still spends about an hour each day with Lakers physical therapist Judy Seto to help make his knee more mobile. D’Antoni joked “I don’t think I’ll ever be 100 percent” because of his age (61). But he’s come a long way since carrying crutches during his first few days coaching the Lakers.

“One of the least problems we have is my health,” D’Antoni said. “I’m good. We have other stuff we have to work out.”

Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter and on Facebook. E-mail him at mark.medina@dailynews.com

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  • Sir.death1408

    Just hire a reall defense coach. Fire his brother .

    • Jon K


      • hookedonnews

        Phil Jackson never coached defense. Ask Kobe.

  • 2pacs ghost

    Hey mark medina, good article but seriously, every time I read one of your articles I fumble over mistake after mistake. If your gonna dedicate yourself to being a writer, proofread your work before you submit it. Just sayin.

    • Keith Berry

      Naturally, you meant “you’re” rather than “your”, and I’ll forgive a mere typo even if you won’t.

      • Ace

        It’s “your” not “you’re”. He was correct.

        • Italian D’Antoni fan

          It’s you’re, it stands for “you are”, as in “If you are gonna (sic) dedicate…”, get your english together. I swear you americans couldn’t spell to save your life.

          Go Mike!

          • hookedonnews

            All Americans aren’t illiterate. I am also a D’Antoni fan. I’m glad he’s not reading or listening to all the nonsense that’s being said and written about him. He’s a great coach, and I hope he’s in LA for a long time. Would love to see D’Antoni and Nash win a championship together.

  • Lakersfan

    Umm no? He had the right your. He didnt try to say ” you are articles” that doesn’t make any sense. You’re= you are

    • Myles

      She was referring to the “your” in the second sentence.

  • jayzone

    Did a 5 year old write this? Jesus, proofread before posting.I was gonna share this on fb since i hate the lakers, but i cant take it seriously with all the errors.

    • hookedonnews

      That’s not exactly an error-free post either.

  • laker_forever

    Fire this bum nobody cares if ur at 100% we want u to coach a well rounded offensive/defensive scheme f*** all that fast break hurry up and get down the court how bout u slow it down basketball is like music different tempos and movement creates and paints a better picture

  • Jon K

    Every one of those voicemails begins with, “MIKE, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD RESIGN!!!! WHAT ARE YOU DOING!?!?!? RETIRE NOW!!! YOU’RE KILLING US!!!”

  • Chrmngblly

    Of course. Everyone but D’Antoni has known he was obsessed with recreating the past, a past with no D and Nash in his prime. This is what happens when you get your head stuck up your own ass: you can’t think and you just can’t see what is wrong. This is why D’Antoni is useless as a coach right now: he has no basics to go back to: no fundamental D, no basic Pick and Roll, no Inside-Out. The players have fired this coach.

  • Big Bob22

    Mike _Antoni (no D) has not impressed very many fans. I don’t think we needed a .567 or .586 whatever.

    A coach, teacher or whatever leader, must evaluate the players he has, and coach the players to their strength. Not try to impose a quarter horse offense to powerful Clydesdale’s. The four future hall of famer’s, are still very potent but not for long. If D’Antoni is not going to change what he is doing, he is “NOT” going to change the result! Management cannot wait any longer. HELP?

  • Zeke44

    His comments are those of a defeated coach. He can’t confront or control the disaster that he willingly inherited. “I can’t muster enough.” Enough what? “I’m kind of in a cocoon.” Huh? You’re (note the grammar) the coach of the most high-profile team in the NBA and you can’t even stand to hear the voice mails of your FRIENDS because they know you’re “messed up”? You’re “messed up”? What does that even mean? You’re depressed? You wish you didn’t accept the job? You don’t feel competent to do the job? Some players won’t or can’t run your offense? You have the wrong offense for this team? You haven’t even heard of defense? You’re still taking pain meds just to get through the day?

    Sorry, these are the quotes of a loser, and would never be uttered by Phil Jackson, even if he felt that way. How do you think your players will take these comments? I’d hate to play for a coach who admits to having a “bunker mentality’ in “Tinseltown” expecting “Showtime”. Epic fail!

    • Jon K

      Kobe Bryant is presently fourth in minutes, worse than even Mike Brown, and proof positive that Mike D’Antoni DOES NOT know what he’s doing. He’s literally throwing Kobe on the floor and praying. Idiot.


      • you talking piece of crap just like this.

        • Jon K

          At least I can form a grammatically-correct, coherent sentence that makes sense with proper punctuation, idiot.

          Who is going to listen to someone who is too lazy and stupid to properly capitalize in a comment?

          FIRE MIKE D’ANTONI!!!!

  • Dobril

    This joke – Mike D’Antoni – should be fired as soon as possible. This incompetent loser is driving the Lakers far far away from a playoff spot! And this stupid moustache does not even know how pathetically wretched he is.