ATLANTA -- Michael Cooper, a defensive standout on the Laker teams that staged epic battles with the Celtics in the 1980s and the current coach of the WNBA's Atlanta Dream, has had surgery for tongue cancer.
The Dream said Friday that Thursday's procedure was successful and Cooper "will be back coaching soon."
The team announced Monday that the 58-year-old Cooper has early stage tongue cancer. Assistant coach Karleen Thompson is filling in.
Cooper is in his first season with Atlanta. His team leads the Eastern Conference with a 15-8 record.
Cooper won five NBA titles as a shooting guard with the Los Angeles Lakers during the "Showtime" era from 1978-90. He coached the Los Angeles Sparks to two WNBA titles and won one NBA Development League championship with Albuquerque.