Los Angeles Lakers: Steve Nash Starting Only Proves Mike D'Antoni Plays Favorites

By Joseph Crevier
D'Antoni needs to be fired
Andrew D. Bernstein-Getty Images

It has been pretty evident over the years that coach Mike D’Antoni loves Steve Nash. Who can blame him, as D’Antoni was Nash’s coach on the run and gun Phoenix Suns and now on the Los Angeles Lakers.

Nash has been injured for the majority of his Laker career though, but has still found himself into the starting lineup no matter what. After Nash got hurt for the first time this season, Jordan Farmar and Steve Blake stepped up to show that they were team’s best point guards. However, Farmar tore his hamstring twice and Blake tore a ligament in his elbow, so it left the Lakers with no point guard.

Then came Kendall Marshall, who was a free agent signee after being cut by the Washington Wizards. Once he received the opportunity to play from D’Antoni, Marshall made the most of it, recording double-double after double-double. Marshall seemed to earn the starting position for the remainder of the season, as well as being labeled “the point guard of the future.” However, immediately when Nash was cleared by the doctors, Marshall was benched in favor Nash. Certainly, this raised some questions about D’Antoni not playing the best players available.

A similar incident occurred last season when the coach was first hired. D’Antoni benched Pau Gasol for Earl Clark just a few games following his hiring. Again, definitely a highly questionable decision by choosing a bench warmer over a former All-Star.

Now this season, D’Antoni not only seems to have a special thing for Nash, but an overwhelming bias against Chris Kaman. Kaman has barely found the court all year in favor of the former last pick in the draft, Robert Sacre. Sacre most definitely deserves his spot on the team, but not being played over Kaman, who also a former All-Star.

Finally, Kaman was given the opportunity to start against the Chicago Bulls a couple of games ago and showed D’Antoni why he should be starting. He logged 27 points and 10 rebounds off the bench that afternoon.

It was never a question to the public that Kaman should be starting, but to D’Antoni, he had to go above and beyond to prove himself. Kaman has voiced his frustration multiple times, and rightfully so. This only proves why D’Antoni is not the right man for the job.

Joseph Crevier covers the Los Angeles Lakers for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter, @RealJoeCrev, and Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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