Sometimes change is good, while other times the results are less favorable. Unfortunately for the Los Angeles Lakers they are experiencing more of the latter with head coach Mike D’Antoni.
The story of how Coach D’Antoni was hired in favor of the legendary Phil Jackson have been well documented by many. D’Antoni was brought in to offer a fresh change to the stagnant philosophies of Mike Brown, but injuries early this season and personality clashes with some of the Lakers star players have amplified the team’s already obvious issues.
Dwight Howard has been visibly unhappy with his role in D’Antoni’s offense, while also being indirectly challenged multiple times in the media by Kobe Bryant. Pau Gasol has been openly critical of D’Antoni’s use of his skills and being moved to a reserve role. Even Dwight Howard’s father has been questionable of Coach D’Antoni’s command of the Lakers locker room, or lack thereof.
It’s becoming more and more clear that Mike D’Antoni was not the right choice to manage this Lakers roster. With the team’s collective age, Howard’s pending free agency looming and the Lakers fighting an uphill battle to sneak into the playoffs, the Lakers front office should be taking a serious look at eating yet another coach’s salary and replacing D’Antoni after the season ends.
There are viable options available if D’Antoni gets the ax at the end of this tumultuous season. Jerry Sloan would be a great fit to manage the Lakers’ various egos. For years Sloan was one of the best coaches in the NBA, arguably top-three of his era along with Phil Jackson and Gregg Popovich.
Their is a clear disconnect between the Lakers players and Coach D’Antoni. Cutting the string now and moving along to a more proven, experienced coach would give the franchise their best chance at returning to the NBA’s elite.