L.A. might be the city of 70-degree winters, but for Mike D’Antoni and the struggling Los Angeles Lakers, not even the SoCal sunshine is enough to warm a season growing darker by the day.
Nowhere are the nerves more obvious than with D’Antoni, whose new coping mechanism seems to be a unique brand of cryptic comedy.
It began following a practice session on Jan. 9, when D’Antoni uttered a trio of twisted quotables straight out of a Wes Anderson movie.
Whoa! Coach throwin' shade!
SARCASTIC D'Antoni update on Farmar (hamstring) "none. He's worthless. Ya I want him back, but right now worthless. In 4 weeks love him"— Beto Duran (@DuranSports) January 9, 2014
That makes me never want to drive through a tunnel again.
Asked if there's a light at end of tunnel. D'Antoni joked "there is a light. It could be a train coming. Just the way it is" #lakers— Beto Duran (@DuranSports) January 9, 2014
"Figured it out. The National Anthem is really jinxing us. Every time they play it, we dont play well" Mike D'Antoni #Lakers— Beto Duran (@DuranSports) January 9, 2014
That's actually pretty funny.
To be fair, every coach has his own way of coping with his team’s struggles.
Some tighten their reins and limit access to the media. Others double down on practice time and get back to the fundamentals. Still others will pile up the technical fouls in an effort to light a fire beneath their players.
This season, D’Antoni has chosen something of a different route: a brand of humor somewhere on the scale between quick wit and sardonic snark.
Whatever floats your boat, coach!
Then there’s this one, delivered the next day.
Beer and cigarettes for therapy, right coach? MDA: "I don’t drink or smoke. … I’m thinking about starting, especially the drinking part"— Bill Oram (@bill_oram) January 10, 2014
Oh. Oh geez.
Lobbying for laughs is one thing. Being so down-and-out that you’re thinking about picking up the bottle? That right there's Louis C.K. territory.
No one is taking D’Antoni’s latest quip seriously, of course—and they shouldn’t.
But it sure does provide an interesting, entertaining window into Lakerland turmoil.
If the Lakers keep losing and D’Antoni suddenly finds himself on the hot seat, he might want to think about booking a show at the Hollywood Improv.