D’Antoni apologizes for suggesting Lakers fans root for another team

Lakers Coach Mike D'Antoni talks to his team during a game against the Phoenix Suns earlier this month.
Lakers Coach Mike D’Antoni talks to his team during a game against the Phoenix Suns earlier this month.
(Paul Buck / EPA)

Lakers Coach Mike D’Antoni apologized for his postgame comments after the team’s 117-90 loss on Monday night to the Phoenix Suns.

When asked if the team’s fans were discouraged, D’Antoni snapped back with an answer he later admitted regretting.

“If they’re discouraged, then find another team to root for,” said D’Antoni on Monday. “We’re not going to give up. Are you kidding me? Discouraged? That’s not even fair to these guys.”

D’Antoni was trying to be supportive of his players but that’s not exactly how it was taken by many -- including the bass player of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, a well-known Los Angeles band.


I know he’s got a depleted roster. But even with a loaded one, his coaching concept is unsustainable and cannot win. Ever. Fire [D’Antoni].— Flea (@flea333) December 24, 2013

“I was an idiot last night,” said D’Antoni after the Lakers walkthrough on Tuesday, in preparation for their Christmas Day game against the Miami Heat. “I was out of my mind. I was ticked off. We didn’t play well ... so I said some stuff I shouldn’t have. That’s me. I just made a mistake.”

D’Antoni tried to clarify what he meant with his comments, while acknowledging he didn’t deliver the message as intended.

“We’ve got a team that is overachieving. We have a lot of injuries and we’re in a tough state right now. We need everybody to be pulling with us. It’s going to take the whole village to get this done,” he said. “That was the meaning, I just said it wrong. It came out wrong because I was agitated. I apologize.”

The Lakers will get point guard Jordan Farmar back from a hamstring injury to face the Heat. The team has been decimated at the position with Steve Nash (back), Steve Blake (elbow) and Kobe Bryant (knee) all sidelined.

Farmar has been out since suffering a torn hamstring on Dec. 1. Xavier Henry has started out of position at point guard for the Lakers (13-15), who have lost two straight.

“We need everybody to be behind these guys,” said D’Antoni. “They’re going to play as hard as they can play.”


Lakers: Week 9 predictions

Pau Gasol expected to play tonight against Phoenix

Suns burn Lakers from long range for 117-90 victory

Twitter: @EricPincus