Bryant says excited about new Lakers coach D’Antoni

(Reuters) – Stunned though he was that Phil Jackson has not returned as Los Angeles Lakers head coach, All-Star guard Kobe Bryant said  yesterday he was excited about the prospect of playing under new appointee Mike D’Antoni.

The Lakers shocked the basketball world on Monday when they named former Phoenix Suns and New York Knicks coach D’Antoni to replace the fired Mike Brown while overlooking the heavily favoured Jackson, an 11-time NBA championship winner.

“We were all thinking it was gonna be Phil,” Bryant told reporters after taking part in a Lakers shoot-around. “It probably caught Mike a little bit off guard, too.

“But I’m excited. I spoke to Mike (on the phone) this morning. It was great. It was really short, just ‘hello’.”

While Bryant has deep affection for the ice-cool “Zen Master” Jackson after winning five NBA titles in Lakers colors with the veteran coach, he also holds D’Antoni in high esteem.

A 14-time All-Star, Bryant was a huge fan as a child of D’Antoni’s basketball play in Italy, where he grew up, and later got to know him well when D’Antoni was an assistant coach on the U.S. national team.

More in Sports

Comments

About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning:

Most Read This Week

  1. Passenger dies aboard CAL flight en route to New York

  2. Guyanese woman killed after car hit by NY drunk driving cop

  3. Guyanese remitting $$ from US may have to help pay for Trump wall

  4. Pastor sentenced to 18 years for rape of six-year-old

  5. Former AG Nandlall arrested over law reports

  6. Essequibo mother of five charged with trying to kill husband

  7. Two years jail for Ed Ahmad

  8. No reason for apology to judge, AG tells president

  9. Gold Board Manager sent on leave


Recommended For You