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After Lakers’ 48-point loss, Laker GM Kupchak, owner Buss met with coach D’Antoni

Mar 8, 2014, 2:54 AM EDT

Los Angeles Lakers v Portland Trail Blazers Getty Images

The Lakers have lost a lot of games this season (42 to be exact), but the historic 48-point blowout loss to the Clippers Thursday night on national television hit the fan base hard. Many of these fans rooting for them to lose and get a better draft pick were embarrassed at the lack of defensive effort and the ugly loss.

They were not the only ones.

Apparently Lakers co-owner Jim Buss and GM Mitch Kupchak were as well, and those two sat down separately with coach Mike D’Antoni after the game, reports Ramona Shelburne and Dave McMenamin of ESPN.

Shortly after a 48-point loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday night, Los Angeles Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak met separately with embattled coach Mike D’Antoni and vice president of player personnel Jim Buss to discuss the state of the team, according to sources with knowledge of the situation.

While Lakers management plans to continue to assess the situation, in the short term it is inclined to see how the team responds to the worst loss in franchise history, rather than make an in-season coaching change, sources said.

D’Antoni confirmed the meeting with Kupchak, characterizing it as “normal” before the Lakers played the Denver Nuggets on Friday.

Normal? Riiiiiight. Just another normal night when the GM and owner drop in to see how you’re doing after a franchise worst loss. Happens all the time.

Mike D’Antoni certainly deserves some blame for this Lakers season, the lack of focus on defense for one thing, but not all the blame is on him — he was never given enough talent to win much. A lot of the talent he did have — including Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash — was lost to injury.

Look at it this way: The Lakers’ starting five Friday night in Denver was Kendall Marshall, Kent Bazemore, Jodie Meeks, Wes Johnson and Pau Gasol. Off the bench there was Xavier Henry, Ryan Kelly, Jordan Farmar and Robert Sacre. I don’t care if you had Phil Jackson coach this team, if you resurrected John Wooden to help him, that roster is not winning games. What’s more is as the names have shifted around and the Lakers have had to dig deeper into the talent pool the concept of team has gone out the window with the group, they don’t play within any system.

D’Antoni’s job appears safe for the rest of the season (what is the point of changing coaches now?). Long term, he is not the man, he is not the answer. He probably isn’t the man next season because Kobe Bryant — at his age with his post-up focused style of game now — is not going to be able to play in the D’Antoni run-and-gun system.

For the next couple years as they try to rebuild the roster the Lakers will be selling fans Kobe — that is why they paid him big bucks to stay. Look for them to get a coach this summer whose system can showcase Bryant better.

But that coach isn’t going to win much next season either if that roster looks like this one.

  1. martinbay10 - Mar 9, 2014 at 11:39 AM

    D’Antoni missed his calling. He should be coaching in a six-foot five and under league… Jim Buss, go back to jockey school. Who would have thought in 2 short years, the Lakers would lose Los Angeles to the talent loaded Clips?

  2. giosbiz - Mar 9, 2014 at 12:00 PM

    At the end of the article, the author writes:

    “For the next couple years as they try to rebuild the roster the Lakers will be selling fans Kobe — that is why they paid him big bucks to stay. Look for them to get a coach this summer whose system can showcase Bryant better.”

    He (and a LOT of other people) are forgetting that the Lakers actually had a chance to hire such a guy just before bringing Dantoni on; his name is Phil Jackson. They chose a guy who QUIT ON THE KNICKS DURING THE SEASON over a guy with 11 championships, including five with the Lakers.

    That’s why I don’t think Dantoni will lose his job; that would make too much sense. Jim Buss is to blame for this whole fiasco. He’s driving this franchise right into the ground and in record time.

  3. raycharlesj - Mar 9, 2014 at 12:25 PM

    “One lump or two as I pulled off D’Antoni’s hat and picked up the Hammer”!!!! ha ha ha that is what they talked about in those meetings. Few people really thought D’Antoni’s “system” could work without the right young personnel, but He convince Jim Buss, Kupcake, and father time Nash they could hop a ride back to the future to 2004??? Well the bright side for the Lakers is you are so far down in the pit now, when you fire D’Antoni next season you will only have one direction to climb and that is UP!!!!! From scratch.

  4. program33 - Mar 9, 2014 at 1:11 PM

    We all said he was the wrong coach day 1. A lot of time and a lot of money has passed. Its a shame that it had to come to this.

    Pretty much, one of the only winners is Kobe. While the team is posting historic loses…he is laughing all the way to the bank from the sidelines. Say what you want, the young man has brains.

  5. harshedmellow - Mar 9, 2014 at 2:14 PM

    One of the great franchise flameouts of the modern era, and still getting better. Love it.

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