SALT LAKE CITY — The
But this week they got a cold, hard stare from the NBA and
The Lakers got stranded at the TV altar?
"They'll rue the day," Coach
It's an unusual occurrence for the TV-friendly franchise, but the Lakers (13-17) are struggling in the win column and don't have
Ratings gold! Maybe not.
"They're doing business and you can't blame them," D'Antoni said. "That's our job now, is to make them go, 'Man, we messed that up.'"
The Lakers won't draw any extra attention from ESPN or NBA executives after their 105-103 loss Friday to a weak Utah team.
ESPN and the NBA can later decide to add another Lakers game to ESPN's slate. A team can make a maximum of 10 appearances on ESPN per season, and this week's decision knocks the Lakers down to a scheduled nine.
Discouraged no more
It used to bother D'Antoni when Lakers fans bought tickets to games in Phoenix, dotting the crowd with purple and gold jerseys.
"I thought sometimes in Phoenix it was half and half and I'm going, 'This just can't be,'" said D'Antoni, who coached the
With their national following, the Lakers typically play in front of plenty of fans at almost every arena.
Friday was no different, with Lakers followers creating a presence at
Nick Young did not convert a four-point play against Utah. Shocking.
He had been on a roll, completing basketball's most unusual scoring play in three of four games before Friday.
He had another four-point play earlier this season against Denver, already giving him more in one season than any player in Lakers history. The most Bryant ever had in a season was two.
"It feels good to be in the record books for something on the Lakers. I grew up watching them," Young said. "I would have thought Kobe would have had that already, or
Young has a ways to go to catch Bryant for career four-point plays (16).
"It is uncanny," D'Antoni said of Young. "There's a few guys that can do that. I couldn't make an open three just by myself. How they can draw the foul and be able to make it is a mystery."