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New Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni: "If we're not in the hunt, then I've failed"

New Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni is set to take over the team sometime this week. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

New Los Angeles Lakers head coach Mike D'Antoni knows that the expectations are high this season for his team to contend for an NBA championship. D'Antoni says he understands what he needs to do and is ready to accept the challenge.

"I'm going to do everything I can do to win a championship," D'Antoni said Tuesday on ESPN radio. "If we're not at least in the hunt, a serious hunt, then I've failed as a head coach. I'm comfortable with that."

"I was surprised in the sense that it seemed like a natural fit," D'Antoni said. "But you never know what happens, so I'm not here to judge one way or the other. I know he's a great coach. Has been, will be, one of the best if not the best ever."

D'Antoni was hired Sunday night before former Lakers coach Phil Jackson said he had an opportunity to give the team an answer about his desire for the job on Monday. The Lakers enter tonight's game against the San Antonio Spurs with a 3-4 record.

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