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Chill out Lakers fans, team isn’t firing Mike D’Antoni

Jan 25, 2013, 11:43 AM EDT

BASKET-US-NBA-LAKERS-BUCKS Getty Images

Lakers fans are looking for someone to blame for the mess that is the team they thought would contend for — some in Los Angeles thought would easily roll to — an NBA title.

While there are plenty of targets, Mike D’Antoni seems to be the main one — why won’t he modify his system to fit the personnel? A lot of Lakers fans want him gone.

Not happening. From Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register.

There’s plenty of heat and speculation — and plenty for Mike D’Antoni to hash out as far as better utilizing his players, including 2013 free agent Dwight Howard — but I was told Thursday the Lakers are not considering a buyout or firing of D’Antoni as head coach.

Frankly, that should have been pretty obvious — Jim Buss invested in D’Antoni over Phil Jackson, he can’t just walk away from that. Also, the Lakers GM backed D’Antoni the other day and not in the usual “vote of confidence” way.

Two thoughts here:

First, blaming D’Antoni for the Lakers mess is like blaming a lion for not choosing a vegetarian lifestyle — all he has done is be true to his nature. Lakers management knew what kind of system D’Antoni would run when they hired him and they knew exactly what the roster looked like and how it didn’t fit that system. Mike D’Antoni is going to win his way, not yours, he is an NBA ideologue who believes deeply in what he is doing. If you don’t like it, blame management for bringing him in. Frankly, now they have no choice but to modify the roster to better fit his style.

Second, there is only one thing that gets him fired — Dwight Howard saying it is him or me, one of us has to go. The star player always wins that battle. But if you watched the Dwightmare in Orlando you know that kind of strong statement and decisive decision making is not his style. In the end I think he stays a Laker, D’Antoni stays and changes are made around them to make this work better. (Not that it can get much worse.)

As I said before, the Lakers are a perfect storm of mistakes and bad luck coming together. It’s not one thing. And with that, there is not one simple solution. Certainly not more instability and another coaching change.

  1. mazblast - Jan 25, 2013 at 11:57 AM

    KoMe, Jim Buss, Mitch “The Figurehead” Kupchak, D’Antoni, an aging starting lineup, a weak bench, Howard walking at year’s end, no first round pick. It’s a great time to not be a Lakers fan!

    • spthegr8 - Jan 25, 2013 at 4:31 PM

      Mike D’antoni SUCKS sooooooo bad, that he makes you want Mike Brown back. That SPEAKS VOLUME’S!!!! Thank’s Jimbo……SMFH!!!!

  2. losangelesfan - Jan 25, 2013 at 12:23 PM

    In times like these, it’s good to have 17 championships to look back on.

    • angulocarlos1 - Jan 25, 2013 at 12:29 PM

      Bahahah who cares about them, heck you probably weren’t born for the first era championships so why bring them up?

    • ron05342 - Jan 25, 2013 at 12:35 PM

      You are also including the Kings’ Stanley Cup in that? Because the Lakers have 16 (and 5 were in Minneapolis).

      This from a Laker fan who has been there for all 11 in L.A.

      • loungefly74 - Jan 25, 2013 at 2:22 PM

        @losangelesfan…you have the right mentality. it is good to know the franchise we adore will be back and do what we can for a title. guys like mazblast know the Lakers have the highest % of success the past 30 years (modern basketball era) and are just getting their kicks in now, and that’s fine. because we know we will too get ours in.

        @angulocarlos1 WTF do you mean who cares? Laker fans do. don’t you have a team you root for? SMH…

  3. Mr. Wright 212 - Jan 25, 2013 at 12:26 PM

    Laker hate shining through on a cloudy day even, Kurt…

  4. lemfaxx - Jan 25, 2013 at 12:26 PM

    D’antoni system is perfect for young kobe, young nash, young pau, young artest & uninjured howard. Get 2 or more young legs to the starting 5 & u will see a result. Or unless you trade the coach & ask kobe to forget the alltime scoring title…

  5. golfrangeman - Jan 25, 2013 at 12:29 PM

    When did they get there 17th?

  6. zacksdad - Jan 25, 2013 at 12:29 PM

    That is OK. Watch the viewership go down. Watch the team stop listening and playing for him (already happening). Watch Dwight sign somewhere else. Watch this team even more self destruct.

    Jimmie, Jimmie, Jimmie.. Lets see how much more you can bring down such a proud franchise. There were other lean years after 2004, but then it seemed like there was a plan. Now it seems like the plan is to stick by your guns and not admit to your mistakes.

    • ron05342 - Jan 25, 2013 at 12:39 PM

      Yup. Gonna be a Clippers town, if things keep up. L.A. wants winners. It still amazes me that KSPN 710 spends its entire day lamenting about the Lakers’ issues, while not giving even one minute to the Clippers, or to the defending Stanley Cup champion Kings.

      Talk Radio, L.A.? Nope. A Laker-whore radio station, through good times and bad.

      • cosanostra71 - Jan 25, 2013 at 1:00 PM

        I have a hard time seeing LA ever being a Clippers town. Even this year, with the Clippers having a pretty good team, and the Lakers not, no one really cares about the Clippers. The reason why the talk radio is only talking about the Lakers’ woes, is because it is reflecting the town’s conversations.

        Although I do think the Kings would receive more attention if there hadn’t just been a lockout.

      • zacksdad - Jan 25, 2013 at 2:00 PM

        Totally agree with you. 710 does spend all their time on the Lakers, but they are a Lakers station.

        But if Jimmie keeps this up, I may switch sides. One reason I do not switch sides is that the Clippers got lucky to get their team and Sterling will still find a way to screw it up in a year or two.

      • loungefly74 - Jan 25, 2013 at 2:24 PM

        one year does not change things. i mean, i know we live in an ADHD world…but that doesn’t erase 30 years (30 years…man…30 effin years…thats a long effin time, dude) of clipper misery.

  7. skids003 - Jan 25, 2013 at 12:29 PM

    Kob, the great one, is THE problem. They need to let him go, or trade for some offensive rebounders, because he’s gonna jack up his 30 shots a game.

    • cosanostra71 - Jan 25, 2013 at 1:01 PM

      The Lakers are scoring the 6th most points in the NBA. Their offense is fine.

      • loungefly74 - Jan 25, 2013 at 2:27 PM

        dont mind skids. yeah…he has been schooled multiple times about Kobe, his NTC, the offense…but refuses to listen…just spouting the same wrong crap over and over not realizing that everybody has heard what he said and corrected him but saying anything new. isnt that the definition of being psychotic?

    • zerole00 - Jan 25, 2013 at 1:51 PM

      What is it about “Kobe having a no trade clause in his contract” don’t you idiots seem to understand? He doesn’t go unless he wants to, whether we like it or not.

      Defense is their main issue, they’re still scoring high even if it’s not efficiently.

      • cosanostra71 - Jan 25, 2013 at 2:30 PM

        It’s not even that inefficient, they’re 11th in FG%. That’s certainly average, but it should be more than enough to be a playoff bound team, if not for the fact they are giving up the 4th most points in the NBA.

    • censormynameandmycomments - Jan 25, 2013 at 2:48 PM

      Kobe takes 22 shots a game. Look it up.

  8. rodge1 - Jan 25, 2013 at 12:35 PM

    The past is all Lakers’ fans have. That’s probably why they acquired players that were good in the ‘past’. Kobe used to play defense in the ‘past’. See the trend? Can’t wait until Kobe being in the NBA is in the past.

    • ron05342 - Jan 25, 2013 at 12:37 PM

      Haters gonna hate. Too bad for you he is a first ballot HOFer. Gonna hate on that too?

  9. mungman69 - Jan 25, 2013 at 12:42 PM

    The Lakers are old, older and oldest. The only young (?) player is Howard and he is ALWAYS hurt. The only “system” that will work for this team is the same system that works at the old folks home.
    The Lakers have no plan for the future.
    I hear that Jack Nickolson has front row seats for the Clippers.

  10. aboogy123456 - Jan 25, 2013 at 1:00 PM

    The most frustrating part of watching the team is how they are handling their pick and roll defense. If you watch closely, players on the other team always can count on getting an open shot between the free throw line and the three point line. All they have to do is get a pick and it’s there every time. Lakers need to find a way to make these shots hard, at least force the guy to Dwight.

    This is one of the reasons I miss odom, among many others, he was able to switch on pick and rolls and defend the shooters. A lot of commenters say that the lakers need to add some youth and better defense, well we don’t even need to make a trade to make it happen. We have devin ebanks sitting on the bench, and i think he would make a huge difference. He will hurt the offense, but the defense literally gives up a wide open shot every time. Give the man some minutes, he will make it so much easier on kobe and nash outside.

    • loungefly74 - Jan 25, 2013 at 2:29 PM

      great analysis aboogy. the open shot (from the lack of D rotation) we give the opponent is crazy. fix it!

  11. bifford - Jan 25, 2013 at 1:10 PM

    Didn’t they say the same thing before firing Mike Brown?

    • badintent - Jan 26, 2013 at 1:44 AM

      They sure did. ! nice. But what they didn’t say was all the Lakers really need is some of Sly’s HGH , EPO and T Gel 1.5.The Lakers are Expendable. Rated PAGH(Playoffs ain’t gonna happen)

  12. censormynameandmycomments - Jan 25, 2013 at 2:43 PM

    There are 2 things that are actually hurting the Lakers but nobody wants to talk about them. It’s easier to point the finger at D’Antoni or Nash or Kobe or Dwight or Pau, but the first problem is Ron Artest. He’s taking the 3rd most shots on the team, only 0.2 shots a game less than Pau, who is 2nd. He takes more shots than Dwight, yet Dwight averages more than 3 points more. He’s shooting 42% FG and 35% 3pt, which is good (for him), but bad because he’s shooting too much. He takes over 11 shots per game, 6 of which are 3’s. His assists are down by half over his career averages. So, he’s not passing the ball, he’s shooting more, and he’s doing it poorly. He’s the only starter (assuming Nash, Kobe, Pau, and Dwight are the others) with a PER under 15.6.

    The second problem is they have no bench. None. Their starters all play about 34 minutes a game except Kobe, who plays 39 minutes. Their best bench guys are Clark and Jamison, who essentially play the same position. Besides Clark, Jamison, and Meeks, no one on their bench has a PER higher than 9.0. Clark is the only one with a PER even close to the league average.

  13. scrp2 - Jan 25, 2013 at 3:04 PM

    Bring back Mike Brown and his “old guy” offense.

  14. dyn0myte - Jan 25, 2013 at 3:21 PM

    Well, Jim Buss has said that he wanted to “change the culture of the Laker organization” and that he wanted to put his “own stamp on the Laker franchise”.

    How’s that working out, Jim?

    Jim Buss has destroyed The Lakers…..
    – Mike Hill (@MikeHillESPN) January 22, 2013

  15. JHathwell - Jan 25, 2013 at 3:59 PM

    All of the blame, or at least the lions share of it, belongs with Jimmy Buss. Plain and simple, he is responsible for all of these missteps, from hiring Mike brown in the first place to letting his ego get the best of him and spurning Phil for D’Antoni when thew Lakers don’t have the roster to play D’ Antoni’s style.

    Jim Buss is nepotism at it’s most destructive. The guy is ruining the Lakers.

  16. jerrysshadescleaner - Jan 25, 2013 at 4:38 PM

    Na YOU chill out brah!!

  17. sportsnut101 - Jan 25, 2013 at 8:00 PM

    They don’t have fire him they can trade him to lol

  18. BigBeachBall - Jan 25, 2013 at 11:16 PM

    We’re associating Dantoni to a lion now? PHil was a lion… dantoni is more like a gerbil….

  19. mclayton31 - Jan 26, 2013 at 2:14 AM

    Not a laker fan but Kobe isn’t the problem. Kobe has been chunking up those shots throughout his career. The only difference is that he had help from guys like fisher and horry and ariza and a productive pau. When nobody else is scoring what do you expect him to do. Even if his shots aren’t falling that’s his job as the team leader.

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