If he can't be on the sidelines, it's likely Bernie Bickerstaff will resume his role as interim coach. The team has done quite well with Bickerstaff on the sidelines, so it would make sense to see him there again should D'Antoni have a setback.
As reported by Los Angeles Times beat writer Mike Bresnahan, D'Antoni is still a game-time decision as the knee injury threatens to keep him away from his opening night with the team. Sideline reporter Mike Trudell also had the news that D'Antoni is struggling a little bit.
Mike D'Antoni will be a game-time decision tomorrow against Brooklyn. Feels weird to say that about a coach. #Lakers— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) November 19, 2012
D'Antoni hopes to be on the sideline tomorrow: "Every day it gets tenfold better & hopefully because of that I'll be ready to go."— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) November 19, 2012
It's been a tumultuous ride for the Lakers over the past two weeks. First, the firing of Mike Brown has come down like a hammer in L.A. although the move was largely supported by players and the fanbase.
In the coming days, Phil Jackson was almost handed the job until the club made the surprise move to hire D'Antoni. He's now reunited with Steve Nash and in charge of righting the ship for a team that started 1-4 with championship aspirations.
Although some supported the move as good for the current construction of the team, former star Magic Johnson was quick to criticize management for not getting Jackson up off the couch. The statements made national headlines, especially coming from one of the franchise's most storied stars.
Be that as it may, D'Antoni is the head coach. He's not going anywhere, although it's taken a little bit longer than expected to get him in a position to coach the team from the sidelines.
We'll continue to monitor his status leading up to the game tonight against the Nets, but it appears D'Antoni is going to test out the knee and make sure he can maneuver up and down the sidelines one final time before making the plunge back to full-time coaching.
Ethan Grant is a featured columnist for B/R's Breaking News Team.