It turns out that after making the list and checking it twice, Santa determined Mike D’Antoni has been more naughty than nice.
A mere two days before Christmas Day, the Lakers coach cried Bah Humbug to a reporter’s suggestion that Laker fans are discouraged with the team’s play.
“Why would I be discouraged? We’re fighting with a bunch of good guys that played well and will play well again,” D’Antoni said. “If they’re discouraged, go find another team to root for. I’m alright. We’re not going to give up. Are you kidding me? Discouraged? That’s not even fair to these guys. They’re going to fight.”
Those comments apparently resulted in D’Antoni receiving something far from pleasant in his Christmas stocking.
“For opening my mouth, I got a lump of coal,” D’Antoni joked. “But I’m from West Virgina, so that’s a good thing.”
D’Antoni has repeatedly apologized for his comments in recent days. He called himself an “idiot” following Tuesday’s practice. He also clarified his message hardly entailed trying to belittle a fanbase.
“I didn’t mean anything wrong. I said it wrong,” he said. “It was not a bright thing to say. That’s what happens when you are full of emotionally fueled meanness: You lash out. The right thing to convey is that I’m really proud of the guys we have, and I love these guys. And, you know, when somebody attacks your family, not attacks, but somebody asks you a question like, ‘Why you guys aren’t so good and we’re disappointed,’ well, I just lashed out. And it wasn’t the right thing to say. We’ve got great fans.”
Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org