There has been obvious and reported tension between many of the Los Angeles Lakers players and current head coach Mike D’Antoni. In what has been a struggle of a 2013-14 NBA season for this team, Chris Kaman, Pau Gasol and even Kobe Bryant have all been at odds with D’Antoni throughout the course of the season.
With all of these players, specifically Bryant, apparently not seeing eye-to-eye with D’Antoni, it seemed that the writing was on the wall for the coach’s future with this team. Quite frankly, there have been times when it’s seemed like there was absolutely no chance that he would be back next season to coach the Lakers.
However, that might not be the case. According to a report from Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report, the organization is currently leaning towards retaining D’Antoni for the remaining year on his contract. Ding made emphasized that nothing is certain at this point, but that doesn’t change the somewhat shocking notion that the Lakers could keep D’Antoni around.
While it would make some sense to keep D’Antoni on as the team enters the summer with cap-room that would allow them to build a team suited towards the coach’s style of play, bringing him back would be another terrible decision by this organization.
D’Antoni is not as bad of a coach as this run in L.A. would make him seem. However, there’s no way to justify keeping a coach that the team’s alpha-dog (Bryant) isn’t on the same page with. Even if it’s new teammates joining the Lakers and Bryant next season, Kobe is still the leader that those players will look to for guidance. If that leader isn’t buying into the coach’s philosophy or ideas, that’s setting the team up for failure.
There’s always the chance that Bryant and D’Antoni can settle whatever differences they have and things would go swimmingly if the Lakers bring the coach back. Given the current state of affairs and opinions that we have heard as of late regarding the Lakers, bringing back D’Antoni to coach next season would be a monumental mistake.