Unbelievable is an understatement when describing the decision Los Angeles Lakers‘ management has reportedly just come to. This decision is regarding the coaching situation and whether the team will bring back Mike D’Antoni for the final year of his three-year contract. After about a week of contemplating the coach’s future, Los Angeles has in fact come to the conclusion that it is in the franchise’s best interest to allow D’Antoni to ride out his contract, returning for one more season.
That’s right, Lakers fans, the nightmare will continue. I’m absolutely speechless at the fact that a great basketball mind such as Mitch Kupchak would allow this to occur. It’s mind blowing.
When this news is officially announced by the Lakers’ camp, Lakers fans will, no doubt, be in a total state of anger and turmoil. Fans have been calling for D’Antoni to be fired ever since he was hired over Phil Jackson in 2012. Yes, he is an outstanding offensive coach, but other than offense, it does not appear like he can really coach anything else. Defense is absent, leadership is absent and his decision-making in general seems to be highly questionable.
Several players have spoken out against D’Antoni both this year and last, including Kobe Bryant, Chris Kaman, Pau Gasol, Dwight Howard and Jordan Hill. If these players were bench warmers, it would be a totally different story, but four of the five are former All-Stars. Also, it is no coincidence, most of the players listed are all big men, with the exception of Bryant. D’Antoni simply neither cares nor has the knowledge of how to utilize his very talented centers and power forwards. He refuses to adjust based on his personnel and it has resulted him single-handedly destroying two franchises in the New York Knicks and Lakers.
With Gasol, Kaman and Hill now all free agents, the team will, in all likelihood, be unable to bring these guys back directly because of D’Antoni. Especially Hill and Kaman, as their playing time has been extremely inconsistent, leading to both vocalizing their constant displeasure of sitting on the bench. It’s not like either player is unproductive; it’s solely because D’Antoni refuses using two interior big men simultaneously.
Not only will this decision cost the Lakers the opportunity of re-signing productive players, but it will also heavily impact future free agents’ desire to sign in Los Angeles. Plain and simple, nobody who has the desire to win wants to play for D’Antoni. He has no resume suggesting success when abiding by his system, so there is no reason to believe things will all of the sudden turn around. This is absolutely an all-time dumbest franchise decision. Let the influx of Los Angeles Clippers fans begin.