Bernie Bickerstaff Made History As Interim Lakers Coach

Interim Coach Bernie Bickerstaff posted a better winning percentage than Phil Jackson or Pat Riley as Lakers coach

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Getty Images
    Interim Coach Bernie Bickerstaff of the Los Angeles Lakers walks courtside during an 84-82 Laker loss to the San Antonio Spurs at Staples Center on November 13, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.

    On Tuesday night, the Los Angeles Lakers welcome the Brooklyn Nets to Staples Center to cap off a six-game home stand. Mike D’Antoni expects to finally take charge of the team, marking the end of the brief Bernie Bickerstaff era as interim coach. 

    Bickerstaff, who will continue on as an assistant coach, had a record of 4-1 during his short reign, making him the Los Angeles Lakers head coach with the best all-time winning percentage.

    Bernie’s way with the media had many hoping that D’Antoni never took over the team. Bernie was always candid, honest, and funny.

    Here is a selection of Bernie Bickerstaff quotes:

    On being asked if the Lakers had turned the corner with the recent high scoring wins:

    “I don’t know how we can turn the corner without that lineup, with Steve Nash there. So, now you’ve got to integrate him into the system. Dwight’s not there yet, in terms of his physical conditioning. He’s working on it, and he’s getting there and you can see his timing is a little off. So, we’re not there yet, but we could be a pretty damn good basketball team, I don’t have any reservations about that.”

    On having the best winning percentage in Lakers coaching history at 3-1:

    “That’ll get me a popsicle.”

    On having the best winning percentage in Lakers coaching history at 4-1:

    “At least I get a flavor on my popsicle…Grape.”

    On his time as interim-coach of the Los Angeles Lakers:

    “When it’s all said and done, I thought that it was said that it would be a footnote. It will be something that will be in history that maybe my grandkids can talk about. But it’s all good. It’s all fun, and that’s what life is about. Don’t take yourself too seriously, enjoy, and enjoy the ride.”

    Thanks, Bernie.

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