Mike D'Antoni circled the court 2 feet at a time, moving smoothly on crutches while his Los Angeles Lakers went through drills orchestrated by his assistant coach and brother, Dan.
Although D'Antoni's surgically replaced knee is slowing him a bit, he couldn't wait any longer to get the Lakers rolling.
D'Antoni formally took over the Lakers on Thursday, four days after the slow-starting club hired him to replace Mike Brown. The former Knicks and Suns coach is still on crutches and pain medication, but knee surgery couldn't keep him away from the Lakers any longer.
Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak welcomed D'Antoni after practice at a news conference packed with dozens of media members. D'Antoni is likely to make his sideline debut Sunday vs. Houston.
"I'm really happy to be here — excited," D'Antoni said. "(We're) starting to put stuff in now. Might take a little bit, but Mitch has said, and I'm sure you guys know, we're built to win this year. This is not a five-year project. We have a window, and we're going to try to get through it."
BULLS: Former Bulls star Scottie Pippen will take the stage in the Goodman Theatre's "A Christmas Carol" in Chicago. The theater said Pippen will appear in the Dec. 14 production with 7-year-old La'Ren Kimble from Make-A-Wish Illinois. La'Ren has kidney cancer.
CELTICS: Rajon Rondo sat out Boston's game against Brooklyn on Thursday because of a sprained right ankle. Rondo left the Celtics' win vs. Utah on Wednesday after he was hurt in the third quarter.
HEAT: Dwyane Wade missed Miami's game at Denver on Thursday night because of a sprained left foot.
RAPTORS: Guard Kyle Lowry will be sidelined another 1 to 2 weeks after being diagnosed with a bruised bone in his right foot.
TIMBERWOLVES: Minnesota agreed to terms on a one-year deal with free agent forward Josh Howard, pending a passed physical.
WIZARDS: Washington waived Jannero Pargo and signed free-agent guard Shaun Livingston, bringing back a player they hope can help fill the void until John Wall returns from injury.