The Los Angeles Lakers franchise has appeared in the playoffs 60 times and won 16 championships. The fanbase is large, and you probably want to avoid alienating yourself from the people within it if you're the coach.
UPDATE: Tuesday, December 24 at 4:26 p.m. ET
It looks like Mike D'Antoni may now be showing some remorse over his comments last night. From Mark Medina of the L.A. Daily News:
Mike D'Antoni calls himself an "idiot" for the comments he made last night about Laker fans— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) December 24, 2013
---End of update---
Well, Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni doesn't seem terribly concerned about it. Following his team's 117-90 drubbing at the hands of the more energized (and certainly healthier) Phoenix Suns on Monday night, D'Antoni shared this gem in his postgame presser:
“If fans are discouraged, find another team to root for.” -Mike D’Antoni (on @TWCSportsNet)— Lakers Nation (@LakersNation) December 24, 2013
It may have been hard to watch his guys get blasted by the likes of Miles Plumlee, Gerald Green and Marcus Morris. And I'm sure he's sick of the negative attention his 13-15 squad is generating. But you should generally let your brain weigh in on what your heart wants you to say after a loss.
It looks like that connection was frayed for D'Antoni in this case, and now a lot of Lakers fans are, to put it mildly, perturbed. Just search "another team to root for" on Twitter to see for yourself.
Kam Pashai, the co-founder of Laker Nation, was one of many who reacted:
Friend: "Mike, that mustache is getting old!" D'Antoni: "YEAH WELL YOU'RE BALD AND FAT AND YOUR WIFE DIVORCED YOU. YOU'LL DIE ALONE."— Kam Pashai (@KamPashai) December 24, 2013
It was obviously an exaggeration, but it does illustrate the reputation D'Antoni now has. The way he talks and the harsh and blunt nature of most of his comments rub people the wrong way.
And with each passing year, he has less credit as a coach upon which he can fall back. His record since he and the Suns parted ways is 174-214 (.448).
He may want some of his discouraged fans to find another team to root for. They might want him to find another team to coach for.
For 140-character pearls of wisdom from Bleacher Report's Andy Bailey, follow him on Twitter: @AndrewDBailey.