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Mike D'Antoni likely to make Lakers debut Sunday

The new Los Angeles Lakers head coach said he will probably coach his first game on Sunday against the Houston Rockets.

Christian Petersen

Newly instated Los Angeles Lakers head coach Mike D'Antoni said at his introductory press conference that he'll probably take the bench for the first time Sunday against the Houston Rockets.

The former Phoenix Suns and New York Knicks head coach attended practice Thursday on crutches because of a knee replacement surgery earlier this month. D'Antoni's brother, Dan, ran drills with the Lakers, and interim coach Bernie Bickerstaff was also present.

It is expected that Bickerstaff will coach the Lakers on Friday against the Phoenix Suns.

At the press conference, D'Antoni said he was simply happy to be with the Lakers and working once again. He added that he felt fortunate to be offered the position considering Los Angeles had spoken with former head coach Phil Jackson.

D'Antoni addressed other issues as well, none more overwhelming as the expectations coming into the situation midseason. He said that the pieces are there to win a championship ring now and that he's dealing with a window rather than a project.

He also addressed issues regarding the use of Kobe Bryant (he wants him to always be in attack mode), play-calling (D'Antoni doesn't like doing it) and the upside of Dwight Howard (he called the center "unstoppable").