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NBA Roundup: Lakers Get A New Coach, Bynum to Remain Out, Tuesday’s Games

On Monday morning, NBA fans awoke to news of a new Los Angeles Lakers coach: Mike D’Antoni. The former Phoenix Suns and New York Knicks coach, would be reunited with his former player Steve Nash and for the most part, Los Angeles Lakers Nation gave the move a thumbs-up.

But not everyone was happy. Former coach Phil Jackson thought the job would be his.

In other NBA news not necessary good, Philadelphia 76ers and former Laker Andrew Bynum has pushed his return date back at least five weeks, maybe more.

This comes from complications with his knee and Monday’s announcement represents the third time the team has pushed back his date.

New Lakers’ Coach: Mike D’Antoni

Lakers coach Mike D' Antoni

On Friday at 1-4, the Lakers announced the firing of head coach Mike Brown. The team immediately moved to find his successor and rumors began swirling that it could get former coach Phil Jackson out of retirement.

He spoke with team owner Jerry Buss and Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak on Saturday at his home. The three had a handshake and according to Jackson, they would wait to hear his answer until Monday.

Monday to this group meant Sunday at midnight, when Jackson got a phone call from Kupchak saying the team hired D’Antoni.

The unemployed coach received a three-year deal valued at $12 million; in year four there’s a club option. The deal was allegedly signed at 11:30 p.m. PT, reported ESPN.

The new coach hasn’t spoken to the media. The team plans to hold a press conference on either Tuesday or Wednesday.

Here’s a few reactions by some of D’Antoni’s new players:

Kobe Bryant: “I love PJ but I’m very excited about D’Antoni.”

Nash: “It’s amazing to get a chance to play for Mike again. “He’s a great man and an incredible basketball mind. We had some great years together and I look forward to getting to work and building a winner here in LA.”

Dwight Howard: “We’re excited for D’Antoni and an up-paced offense. Everything he’s done with the teams he’s had as far as how they pushed the ball and how they play in an open court, I think it will be good for Steve (Nash) and for all of us to put some points on the board.”

Pau Gasol: “I think we’re all excited to have him here and learn his principles in offense and defense and make it work the best for us.”

On Tuesday, the Lakers’ will play San Antonio. The nod goes to the Spurs at -1 with a 194.5 over/under.

Bynum’s Return Delayed

76ers Andrew Bynum

After joining the team with high expectations, Bynum can’t seem to shake his knee problem.

Last week, the player underwent another MRI and visited with his personal knee doctor. The latest timeline? He could be cleared to return to activities on Dec. 10 but with almost a month of  conditioning and training, this could really mean a return to the court in January.

Without the player, the Sixers are 4-3. Jason Richardson, also sent to the team from the Bynum trader, has been out the last five games from an ankle injury.

The team appears to be patient with Bynum’s troubles for now. Sixers general manager Tony DiLeo said on Monday via ESPN, “We know the Sixers fans are eager to see Andrew Bynum play and shine. We also know no one is more eager to see Andrew play for the Sixers than Andrew himself. He fully realizes the key contribution he can make to the team. Hopefully, that day is coming soon.”

Is the key word hopefully? Key in mind, Bynum is in the last year of his contract and has already had two knee surgeries. So far, the team is yet to get a return on its investment.

Tuesday’s Games

Washington at Charlotte (-1.5) – Total 189.5

New York (-6.5) at Orlando – Total 188.5

Toronto at Indiana (-9.5) – Total 185.5

Cleveland at Brooklyn (-6) – Total 197

Portland at Sacramento (-3) – Total 195.5


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