Mike D’Antoni Says the Los Angeles Lakers are an All-Star Team

by January 24, 2013

Though it didn’t make much of a difference, things came to a head in Memphis for the free-falling Los Angeles Lakers. Players confronted one another yesterday, and according to head coach Mike D’Antoni, it’s because the stars on his squad are having a hard accepting their roles. Per the LA Times: “You never want those kind of meetings because that means we’re in trouble a little bit. That doesn’t happen when you’re 40-1,’ Coach Mike D’Antoni said. ‘It needed to be said, it needed to happen, and now it’s up to us to make positive stuff out of it.’ D’Antoni then offered a uniquely accurate view of the Lakers’ woes. ‘Have you ever watched an All-Star game? It’s god-awful,’ he said. ‘Everybody gets the ball and goes one on one and then they play no defense. That’s our team. That’s us. We’re an All-Star team. And we haven’t learned that there’s a pecking order. There’s the one guy, the two guy, the three guy and the four guy. It might not be the same guy every night, but somebody’s got to accept being the fourth guy. And if you’ve been the first guy all your life, that’s hard to accept. And that’s what happens in All-Stars and that’s what happened with us. And we haven’t overcome it.’ D’Antoni started the team meeting by saying he was tired of reading newspaper stories about players questioning his offense and wanting more touches. Bryant said after the loss in Chicago that the team need to slow down the pace and employ more post-ups. D’Antoni also told the team to start worrying less about offense, and more about defense. The Lakers were fifth in scoring (102.6 points a game) but 26th in defense (101.4 points a game) before Wednesday. Then he asked the players to speak up.”