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Mike D’Antoni on his future with Lakers: ‘It’s not for me to decide’

Apr 8, 2014, 8:03 PM EDT

Mike D'Antoni Mike D'Antoni

The Lakers have many decisions to make this summer, once one of the worst seasons in the history of the franchise has finally reached its merciful conclusion.

One of the more interesting ones comes at the head coaching position, where Mike D’Antoni currently sits.

No head coach would have had a chance with the amount of injuries sustained by this season’s roster, which have reached comical proportions now that Kent Bazemore has become the latest player to go down with a season-ending injury.

But the fact remains that this year’s record occurred on D’Antoni’s watch, and there are many fans in Los Angeles who want to see a change made simply to give the franchise a fresh start. It isn’t that simple, however, and D’Antoni knows that whatever decision is set to be made, it’s completely out of his hands.

From Sam Amick of USA Today:

“Well, I think after the year is over, we’ll sit down with management and see where they’re going, see where they’re headed, and it’s up for them to decide,” D’Antoni said. “It’s not for me to decide.” …

No final decision has been made on either side – no matter how many times this storied franchise’s insatiable fan base has called for his head. But as D’Antoni made clear, he’s at peace with whichever direction this situation goes.

“Hey look, this is a great place,” D’Antoni said. “Any player who has a destination of L.A. – it’s pretty good. I’ve been lucky to be here. I don’t want to say, ‘Oh yeah (I’ll be back),’ but I don’t know. And I’m sure that everybody is going to have to sit down and figure it out.”

D’Antoni has one year and $4 million remaining on his contract, an amount that the Lakers would need to pay him regardless of whether or not they retain him as coach for next season.

One school of thought says that D’Antoni got maximum effort out of the players who were healthy enough to play for the most part, but then there are the communication issues with veterans like Chris Kaman, along with Kobe Bryant supposedly being less than thrilled with the prospect of playing for D’Antoni in the future.

If the Lakers are going to be nothing more than a borderline playoff team next season with everyone healthy, then it doesn’t really make sense to fire D’Antoni, with the new coach having little chance of attaining loftier levels of success.

But, if L.A. is able to magically revamp its roster through trades or free agency and bring in another All-Star talent to play alongside Bryant, then in that case, hiring a new coach and creating a clean slate — along with some realistically higher expectations — would probably be the best course of action.

  1. 1harrypairatesties - Apr 8, 2014 at 8:16 PM

    Bye bye Mike. Your system sucked & never worked in L.A.

    • ranfan12 - Apr 8, 2014 at 10:44 PM

      True, but then again, if they end up with a different coach and still play no defense, results will be more or less the same. I think it’s 50/50 or 60/40

  2. cantonbound13 - Apr 8, 2014 at 8:17 PM

    It’s not fair to fore Mike, he never had a healthy roster.

    • 00maltliquor - Apr 8, 2014 at 9:07 PM

      You want him back in NY when we get rid of him and Jackson dumps Woody?

    • 00maltliquor - Apr 8, 2014 at 10:51 PM

      Umm hmmm….that’s what I thought.

  3. El Pollo Loco - Apr 8, 2014 at 9:06 PM

    I hope they being him back

    • jollyjoker2 - Apr 8, 2014 at 10:18 PM

      me too. than he can blame his failures on injuries again.

  4. maxdawg3 - Apr 8, 2014 at 9:06 PM

    & in other news water is liquid at room temperature.

  5. legend30 - Apr 8, 2014 at 9:23 PM

    kb2408, is the D’Antoni of PBT.

  6. 00maltliquor - Apr 8, 2014 at 9:29 PM

    It’s not because Mike didn’t have a fair shot because of the amount of record-breaking injuries this season, defense wins championships (or just in general) and he literally coaches none. That and he’s clueless on how to use size to his advantage and maximize what he has with his bigs. Two very common sense principles if you really want to have success in this league. Add that on top of his horrible player communications and you can really see why there is a real discontent among Lakers fans.

    MDA did do the most with all our new wings and PGs, I’ll give him that, but it was only on one side of the ball.
    it really has nothing to do with Lakers fans unrealistically expecting a trophy every stinking year. We’ve just been on the top so much we know what it takes and what we need to someday get back there. Whether that takes 1 year or 20 years.

    Is it really to much to ask for a little defense!!???

    • urodaddy07 - Apr 8, 2014 at 9:54 PM

      This is my only problem with MDA. The appalling defence! I know he didn’t have great talent, but you don’t need great talent to play good, solid defence. He had a relatively young squad with some good athletes. He just needed to coach and stress some defence. How hard is that. The GSW play a fast paced game and still manage some D. His record with NYK and the Suns would indicate that this will not change. Its gonna be hard to make the payoffs in the competitive Western Conference playing like that.

    • asimonetti88 - Apr 9, 2014 at 12:18 AM

      His rotations were highly questionable this year too.

  7. 13arod - Apr 8, 2014 at 9:35 PM

    if lakers were smart they would have never hired this sorry excuse for a coach

  8. thevikesarebest - Apr 8, 2014 at 10:12 PM

    The Lakers will continue being awful for the next 10 years.sitback and watch.

    • ranfan12 - Apr 8, 2014 at 10:43 PM

      maybe, but i can it’ll be a better chance of them affording pretty decent players to at least a near .500 team. That’s more likely

    • asimonetti88 - Apr 9, 2014 at 12:19 AM

      They’ll have to be awful for another 50 years on top of that to match the Vikings.

  9. jollyjoker2 - Apr 8, 2014 at 10:20 PM

    Using the nfl as comparable….part of being a coach is not sending all your receivers short and over the middle. He needs to understand why these injuries occurred and how this stuff could be prevented.

  10. im2gr84u2h8on - Apr 8, 2014 at 11:00 PM

    Lakers need to hire Coach Carter aka Samuel Jackson.

  11. dinofrank60 - Apr 8, 2014 at 11:19 PM

    So, the Lakers stink and MDA is good enough to coach the team.
    When the Lakers get better, improve, whatever, it’s time for another coach.

    Why did they hire this guy in the first place?

  12. wfon1 - Apr 9, 2014 at 2:12 AM

    We need to start by firing Jim Buss.

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