Heading into the 2014 offseason, Mike D’Antoni had two options. The first was to stay on as the Los Angeles Lakers’ head coach until the team inevitably fired him. The second was to resign, and save a little face.
On Wednesday, D’Antoni took the second option, resigning as the Lakers’ head honcho.
The Lakers are coming off the worst season in franchise history, finishing with a pitiful 27-55 record, earning them the second-worst record in the Western Conference. While some would blame their endless injury issues for a significant portion of their woes, D’Antoni’s demise as the Lakers’ head coach has been a long time coming.
Lakers fans have been calling for his firing for the last season and a half. While they don’t get the satisfaction of watching the team drop the ax on the subpar head coach, there’s still plenty to be excited about with D’Antoni now out of the picture in Los Angeles.
With this latest move, GM Mitch Kupchak now gets another opportunity to hire a head coach who can actually take advantage of the talented Lakers roster. He missed his shot at bringing Phil Jackson back last season, but should have more than enough options to fill the void in 2014.
The Lakers are headed for new beginnings now that D’Antoni is out of the driver seat. With Kobe Bryant returning from injury and a lottery pick coming in June, there’s plenty of reason for optimism heading forward.
So long, D’Antoni. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.