That’s right Los Angeles Lakers fans, Mike D’Antoni is officially gone for good. The Lakers’ official Twitter account first reported it, which means this is a 100 percent legitimate fact that the D’Antoni plague has been lifted.
After several weeks of speculation, rumors indicated management had the intention of allowing the coach to return for the final year of his three-year contract. However, D’Antoni was not satisfied with returning for only one more year and reportedly demanded the Lakers pick up his fourth-year team option. When Mitch Kupchak and Jim Buss refused to do so, arguably the worst coach in the NBA today resigned.
This resignation really alters the outlook of Los Angeles’ rebuilding process. Without his small ball system, players like Pau Gasol and Jordan Hill will likely favor returning to the Lakers rather than bolting like most believed. In addition to Gasol and Hill, the Lakers will have a much better shot at signing some talent in free agency, whether it be 2014 or 2015.
It’s no secret that the locker room began turning against D’Antoni, especially superstar Kobe Bryant, who allegedly stated he had ‘no intention’ of playing for him next season.
Yes, D’Antoni was not given a fair shot at the job, being plagued by injuries, but his coaching style simply is not of championship caliber. Additionally, his leadership is questionable at best, and defense is obviously his downfall. What will his future hold? Nobody knows just yet, but if I had to guess, we have likely seen the last of him as a head coach in this league.