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Mike D'Antoni hired: Lakers coach needs clearance from doctor to travel

New Lakers' head coach Mike D'Antoni needs clearance from his doctor to travel as he is still recovering from knee surgery.

Rob Carr

The Los Angeles Lakers hired a head coach known for his fast-paced "Seven Seconds or Less" offense in Mike D'Antoni, but the purple and gold might need a little more patience with their new head coach. D'Antoni had surgery recently to repair his knee and is awaiting clearance from his doctors to travel from New York, per Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports.

The Lakers host the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday night at Staples Center, but if D'Antoni can't make it in time for that game it's likely that his first game as Lakers head coach will be Friday night against his old team, the Phoenix Suns, in Los Angeles.

D'Antoni signed a four-year contract to join the Lakers, where he will reunite with point guard Steve Nash, who played under D'Antoni from 2004-2008.

Kobe Bryant has been a vocal supporter of Phil Jackson, whom the Lakers pursued to replace Mike Brown. But Bryant also has a fondness for D'Antoni, whom he grew up watching play in Italy. Bryant on Sunday said he was fine whether the Lakers hired Jackson or D'Antoni.

"Nothing concerns me about this organization, they always seem to make the right decisions," Bryant told Mike Trudell of NBA.com.

D'Antoni coached both Bryant and Dwight Howard with USA Basketball.