November 22, 2017

Mike D’Antoni Rips Lakers, Calls Championship “Laughable”

2013/03/23 11:31 am 201 0 comments

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It’s been a notably frustrating and disappointing season for the Los Angeles Lakers. Although they’ve played better during the second half of the season – even maneuvering into playoff position in the Western Conference – that frustration is starting to boil over.

Even head coach Mike D’Antoni has seemingly lost hope. After a tough 103-100 loss to the lowly Washington Wizards on Friday, D’Antoni ripped into his own team for their lack of effort and said that winning a championship is out of the question.

“This is a good team that just for whatever reason can’t collectively mentally get stimulated to [play hard] every time,” D’Antoni said after the Lakers blew an 18-point first-half lead, according to ESPN.com. “I told them today, we put our hands in [the huddle], and you guys have probably seen it, we say, ‘Championship,’ and go out [on the floor]. That’s laughable. Championship? You got to be kidding me. Nobody understands the importance of every possession offensively and defensively. Every time they got to come out with some kind of determination to be a good basketball team, and [until] then, we’re just, we’re fooling ourselves. Right now, that’s what we’re doing. We’re just making a ‘sham-mockery’ out of it.”

Making the playoffs seemed like a tall order for the Lakers a couple of months ago, but after a strong second half, they are now in eighth place – a game and a half up on the Utah Jazz. However, despite their turnaround, D’Antoni is not banking on his team making the postseason.

“You would think sooner or later they’d get the message, but no,” D’Antoni said. “As soon as we get a little bit, like a 16-point lead or, ‘Oh, we’re ahead one game of Utah; now it’s a breeze. Everybody says we’re in the playoffs, we’re one game ahead!’

So, what’s the answer? The Lakers have been trying to figure it out all season, but D’Antoni thinks it simply comes down to effort.

“What happened was we didn’t play hard enough,” D’Antoni said. “We think we can just figure stuff out. Trevor Ariza’s got 12 attempts at 3s and he’s wide open. That’s inexcusable. It’s just a matter of lapses or gambling or, ‘I’m not going to play hard tonight because we’ll just outscore them.’ That why we dug ourselves a hole in the first part of the year and now we’re digging it again. Obviously, we put ourselves in a big hole. We’ll talk about it and we’ll try to change it around, but we got to have some effort out there. Mental effort, mostly.”

It’s definitely a bad sign when your head coach – the guy who is supposed to motivate the team – starts to lose his composure and lose hope. Maybe he was caught at a moment of severe frustration, but you can only imagine how much worse things will get if the Lakers continue to lose to sub .500 teams.

 

 

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