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Lakers fans, it looks like Mike D’Antoni isn’t going anywhere

Jun 30, 2013, 12:59 PM EDT

Mike D'Antoni, Dwight Howard AP

Mike D’Antoni became the scapegoat for the decisions of Lakers management in the minds of a lot of Lakers fans last season. And maybe Dwight Howard’s mind (which is more of an issue).

Five games into last season the Lakers fired Mike Brown and brought in a system coach in Mike D’Antoni to a roster that was a complete mismatch for his style of play. It took a while but he did stop trying to shove square pegs in round holes, he did adapt (he moved away from many of his preferred options and ran “horns” and other basic NBA sets), yet through it all he was just himself. The issues really stemmed from the odd choice of hiring him for this roster in the first place, and that’s on Lakers management.

D’Antoni is going to get another year at the Lakers helm. Sorry Lakers fans, but it’s true. Multiple reports point that way (although this is the team that fired their coach five games into last season after praising him all off-season, so grab some salt).

First comes a casual reference in an Adrian Wojnarowski story at Yahoo Sports on Dwight Howard’s free agency.

Although Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak has recently told D’Antoni that his job is secure, sources said, the fact that management hasn’t allowed him to start hiring assistant coaches for a depleted staff has left many suspicious the Lakers are keeping the option of cutting ties with D’Antoni should it allow them to re-sign Howard.

When Kupchak says something he isn’t the kind of GM likely to go back on his word, he’s a straight shooter.

But Woj suggests if Howard says D’Antoni has to go, the Lakers would let him go. Except Howard is not going to do that, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.

Another thing to remember: Kobe Bryant likes D’Antoni and has a relationship with him that dates back to Kobe’s youth growing up in Italy (where D’Antoni was a star player).

Nothing is set in stone — again, the Lakers fired Brown five games into last season and the franchise seems far more prone to rash moves under Jim Buss than his father. But Buss and Kupchak made a big statement with what kind of team they wanted when they brought in D’Antoni and they are not going to change that plan easily.

With or without Howard.

  1. bchapman2011 - Jun 30, 2013 at 1:12 PM

    D’Antoni will be fired just not this year. Lakers management knows that the team is not going to be a contender next season no matter who the coach is. There is no sense to pay Mike Brown,Dantoni, and another coach next year when the team will be lucky to get a 7th seed in the playoffs. I would blow the team up this year and pray for a lottery pick in next years draft. Let Kobe sit the first half of the season, amnesty Artest, and trade Gasol for picks. Time to rebuild LA and get financially healthy again.

  2. bucrightoff - Jun 30, 2013 at 1:19 PM

    Antoni sucks, but this situation is mostly due to the incompetence of little boy Buss. Daddy cannot be happy watching this from the other side.

  3. jamieaadams - Jun 30, 2013 at 1:24 PM

    D’Antoni was a poor fit for the Lakers. Having said that, any Laker fan who blames him for Howard’s departure is being ridiculous. And if the Lakers blame him after Howard inevitably leaves for Houston, they’re foolish, too.

    • fanofevilempire - Jun 30, 2013 at 1:38 PM

      maybe you should check your facts, D-12 made clear why he is leaving Lakers
      and it is because D’antoni has no use for him in the offense , just like Pau Gasol.
      the thing I know for sure is jacking up as much shots as you can has never won
      a championship for anyone any where, ever!

      you never mentioned your theory while shooting down D-12’s people.

      • jamieaadams - Jun 30, 2013 at 2:06 PM

        Oh, I agree Howard has amble history of blaming everyone but himself for every questionable basketball decision he has made.

        And it looks like you completely ignored “he moved away from many of his preferred options and ran “horns” and other basic NBA sets” while shooting down my “theory.”

        Anyway, I expect Howard to continue to act like a prima donna once he lands in Houston, so you’ll have amble time to continue to make excuses for him there. Have fun.

      • louderthanwords1 - Jun 30, 2013 at 5:22 PM

        I’m going to assume the word you mean is ample not amble

  4. 2bemoore43 - Jun 30, 2013 at 1:43 PM

    Ayo Mitch!
    Please call Jerry Sloan ASAP
    thank you,
    Laker Nation

  5. Anoesis - Jun 30, 2013 at 1:55 PM

    Many Laker fans are reaching the point of thinking it might just be best to say goodbye to Howard and put up with a year of failure if that shakes up the front office and gets Jim Buss canned. How is it possible that Jim-boy has spent his entire life around his father without having any of Jerry’s class and good judgment rub off? Having a younger coach who isn’t wedded to a particular style wouldn’t hurt either.

    My preference is to let Howard walk (or do a sign-and-trade if possible) and start rebuilding this year by shedding some of the older players. Amnesty MWP, trade Gasol, let Bryant heal, and prepare for 2014. I’d rather see the Lakers become a true team again, instead of one or two big names and a supporting cast.

    • Kurt Helin - Jun 30, 2013 at 9:20 PM

      Jim Buss cannot be fired. He is one of the co-owners of the team in charge of the basketball side of the operation, something he is tied to through a complex trust Jerry set up before passing. Jeanie has the business side and the team vote on NBA owner issues (IE, the Kings/Seattle situation) but she does not have the power to fire Jim.

      • Anoesis - Jun 30, 2013 at 11:02 PM

        I understand the Lakers’ ownership structure. Perhaps I should have been more specific than saying “canned.” Jim might be a co-owner, but that doesn’t mean he can’t be pressured into giving up basketball-related decisions. There are more family members involved than just Jim and Jeanie, including four other siblings.

        The team is actually owned by a trust, not the individual kids:

        “The entity can’t be split,” Buss family spokesman Bob Steiner said to ESPN. “The heirs do not own the team individually. It is a collective.”

        Should Jim continue to exhibit an inability to run the basketball side of the operation, from botching Phil Jackson’s return to trading for Howard and Steve Nash to hiring D’Antoni, I could easily see the other five kids forcing him to relinquish his decision-making capacity. It wouldn’t be the first time a family feud amongst powerful individuals results in a Julius Caesar-like coup. Laker fans can only hope Jeanie wins this battle.

  6. cantonbound13 - Jun 30, 2013 at 2:02 PM

    Jeanie needs to take over.

  7. fruitcovejag - Jun 30, 2013 at 2:32 PM

    Dwight says “I need people to want and like me. I need attention. Please, someone else (another team), tell me how great I am. Please!”

  8. kibblesnvick - Jun 30, 2013 at 2:47 PM

    It’s ‘ample’, genius.

    • jamieaadams - Jun 30, 2013 at 3:02 PM

      Ooops, good catch. I would say that’s what I get for letting for letting spell check do all my editing, but I’ll have to take the blame for that one.

      And listen, I appreciate being called “genius,” but not everyone smarter than you is a genius. I mean, that’s pretty much everyone, so you’re really undermining the value of the word.

      • kibblesnvick - Jun 30, 2013 at 3:14 PM

        zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  9. soundsofsuccess7 - Jun 30, 2013 at 2:50 PM

    Is that why they just called up Phil the other day?

  10. 13arod - Jun 30, 2013 at 3:11 PM

    I could coach better then him

    • Anoesis - Jun 30, 2013 at 11:04 PM

      Maybe, but don’t apply for that teacher position.

  11. jshipolito - Jun 30, 2013 at 4:20 PM

    D’Antoni was a poor fit for the Lakers and Buss is terrible at running the Lakers.

  12. goldmember21 - Jun 30, 2013 at 4:53 PM

    Hahaahaaaah! How come lakerluver doesn’t comment anymore? LOL!

  13. cpcheung - Jun 30, 2013 at 5:18 PM

    D’Antoni is a great coach. Lakers just need time to integrate and fuse all superstars in order to build the team chemistry. Howard has problems with Kobe who is still the most valuable player for Lakers. Howard is temperamental and unstable, and being a crying baby with Magic and now with Lakers. It was always the coaches’ faults by Howard — he wanted Coach Stan Van Gundy to be fired last year and now he implied that he wanted another Coach D’Antoni to be fired again, though he didn’t say it this time. Fortunately Magic did not listen to him, nor Lakers this year. Kobe would never do that to Coach D’Antoni, nor Steve Nash. Do you think both Superstars will yield to Howard and sided with him against their good friend D’Antoni? Maybe Howard will be traded for Jeremy Lin this year with Rockets ! Let him go to Rockets and Jeremy Lin comes to Lakers in order to support the aging Steve Nash for the Point Guards. I am sure Howard will have the same problem with James Harden later, fighting for the spot lights in Houston and Coach McHale will be blamed by Howard again!

  14. dirtydavis - Jun 30, 2013 at 5:40 PM

    Irrelevant: “Another thing to remember: Kobe Bryant likes D’Antoni and has a relationship with him that dates back to Kobe’s youth growing up in Italy (where D’Antoni was a star player)”

    Kobe bad mouth D Antoni system all last season.

  15. rushbacker - Jun 30, 2013 at 7:06 PM

    https://www.google.com/search?q=nelson+haha&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=WbnQUdCOLKGqyAHwoIHQCA&ved=0CAkQ_AUoAQ&biw=1536&bih=757#facrc=_&imgdii=_&imgrc=pTaqP4K8sR09qM%3A%3B75d7-mBnaAWdDM%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fi1.ytimg.com%252Fvi%252Fhozc3QP-kLw%252Fmaxresdefault.jpg%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.youtube.com%252Fwatch%253Fv%253Dhozc3QP-kLw%3B1920%3B1080

  16. lakerslegacy2432 - Jun 30, 2013 at 8:30 PM

    if i were howard id leave too neither MIKE is worth a crap, plus they cant get any help nash old artest done kb on last leg

  17. luz56 - Jun 30, 2013 at 8:58 PM

    There is no D in D’Antoni…

  18. mcmofigga - Jul 1, 2013 at 3:17 AM

    Lets face it. Mitch, Kobe, Nash, Jim, Jeanie and now even Phil tweeted about telling Howard to stay put. I don’t understand why. The guy is not all that.

    1st most important in conference finals and NBA finals you have to make FTs we saw what happened when Leonard and Ginobilli missed FTs who are decent FT shooters. In Game 2 of the series against CHI Wade misses a key FT to let CHI back in the game to send the game to OT. I can list you many situations where decent FT shooters miss FT in crucial times. D12 can;’t even make a FT in regular season games. He is a big liability in close games and can’t be trusted on the floor.

    Yes a healthy D12 is force in the paint but it clearly was not the case this year. I saw numerous point guard blow around him to stick layups off the glass so not sure if he still has his dominant force.

    As for his shot selections he has a hook shot which is just ok nothing to write home about. He can’t shoot an outside jump shot if left open and does not even half half the foot work that Hibbert showed. If a guy cannot learn how to shoot FTs knowing he sucks at them how is going to learn anything else. I don;’t care even if Hakim shows him how.

    Yeah he can grab boards but his attitude at times looks like he is just playing the motions and not interested at all.

    He is not much of a leader and does not seem to have the accolades to become one either this late in his career.

    So don’t understand why the Lakers want to build around him. they know they are loosing a star like Kobe and want another super star draw to gain more people to come here.

    But like I pointed out don’t see it at all.

    I think it would be a blessing in disguise to let him sign else where. I am not a Laker fan and still think he would be bad for them.

    You cannot get rid of D Antoni cause you cannot afford another coach and pay 3 coaches. Mike Brown, Da Antoni whose next.

    That being said Lakers should cut their looses embrace 2014 FA and go from there.

  19. raiderfool - Jul 1, 2013 at 3:58 PM

    You can always restructure contract in this league so stop with the finances with the Lakers, if they don’t sign Hoard who cares, they will sign players that fit Mike’s offense, shooters and more shooters, and may sign Al jefferson too

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