Mike D’Antoni on Lakers team that featured Steve Nash, Dwight Howard and Kobe Bryant: ‘I thought I was going to get killed’

Jonathan Sherman
2 Min Read

While the 2021-22 NBA season for the Los Angeles Lakers was an incredibly disappointing one, it was not the first time that a Lakers team with apparent championship aspirations fell flat on its face.

Prior to the 2012-13 season, the Lakers seemed poised to make a deep playoff run and possibly win a title thanks to the additions of Dwight Howard and Steve Nash.

With Nash and Howard coming over to join Kobe Bryant, success seemed assured. However, things did not go according to plan. Though the Lakers did advance to the playoffs, they never seemed like a championship team and were quickly extinguished in the first round of the postseason.

More than that, the stars who were meant to lead the team never managed to get on the same page. Mike D’Antoni, who was L.A.’s head coach for most of the campaign, recently discussed just how bad things got for the Lakers that season.

D’Antoni got a laugh out of it when interviewer J.J. Redick asked about “friction” that existed on that team.

“Friction? I thought I was going to get killed,” D’Antoni said while laughing. “Yeah, I would say there was some friction. … I just couldn’t get them on the same page. They didn’t like each other. It was contentious.”

Clearly, D’Antoni has moved on from the rather disappointing experience in a positive way. It’s a reminder that no matter how bad things seem, they can always improve. That’s especially true for the Lakers.

This summer, the Lakers will surely look to prove just how fast they can rebound. Fans certainly expect them to try to make a number of moves this offseason to get back to their winnings ways in the 2022-23 season.

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Jonathan is a freelance writer, filmmaker, and passionate fan of the NBA. In the past Jonathan has covered politics, entertainment, travel, and more. He is a proud contributor of Lakers Daily.