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Mike D’Antoni resigns as Lakers head coach

Apr 30, 2014, 9:45 PM EDT

Mike D'Antoni AP

After the worst season in franchise history, after multiple players — including Kobe Bryant — suggested they wanted a new coach, and with a fan base up in arms about him, this isn’t really a surprise.

Mike D’Antoni has resigned as the Lakers head coach, the team announced.

“Given the circumstances, I don’t know that anybody could have done a better job than Mike did the past two seasons,” Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak said in a released statement. “On behalf of the Lakers, we thank Mike for the work ethic, professionalism and positive attitude that he brought to the team every day. We wish him the best of luck.”

This very likely was a resignation where he was allowed to save face rather than be fired. D’Antonio had wanted his 2015-16 option picked up, the Lakers declines. D’Antoni was owed $4 million next season and got a portion of that to walk away, reports Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times.

D’Antoni was an odd hire from the start (a start that was 10 games into a season after the Lakers fired Mike Brown thinking “things can’t get worse….”). D’Antoni started off behind the eight ball with Lakers fans because he wasn’t Phil Jackson.

Unlike what many Lakers (and Knicks) fans think, he can coach and his system can win — go watch Miami, they borrow liberally from it. Gregg Popovich and the Spurs borrow from it. D’Antoni has influenced the NBA dramatically.

But he is wed to his system — he has to win his way. (Those other teams have modified what he does to work better with their rosters, and to defend better, but D’Antoni hasn’t really shown that.)

From the day he was hired the Lakers’ roster was a poor fit for the D’Antoni system. Dwight Howard is one of the best pick-and-roll bigs in the game but he wants to play in the post. The Lakers did not have a point guard who fit their system, save for the often injured and well worn Steve Nash. Kobe circa 2004 or so would have been amazing in D’Antoni’s system, but he can’t get up and down the floor and play that style anymore. Kobe’s a post/elbow guy now. Pau Gasol is not a stretch four, just ask him. And it goes on and on down the Lakers roster.

This season the Lakers were ravaged by injuries.

Combine that with D’Antoni’s poor communication skills with players and it all falls apart fast.

In his two seasons D’Antoni was 67-87.

A lot of big names will come to the forefront to be the Lakers coach (no, not Phil Jackson, he’s got what he wants in New York now). Expect Steve Kerr, Stan and Jeff Van Gundy, George Karl, Kevin Ollie, and Lionel Hollins to be mentioned.

That said, expect Byron Scott to be high on the list. After going “outside the family” to hire Brown and D’Antoni, look for the Lakers to stay within their family. Scott has been doing some studio analysis for the Lakers’ cable network in Los Angeles this past season.

  1. rainmaker1982 - May 1, 2014 at 1:07 AM

    Adam Silver just had a press conference saying, “….effective immediately…..Mike D’Antoni is banned for life from coaching in the NBA”.

    Also, the city of Los Angeles has planned a victory parade for Friday.

  2. billtetley53 - May 1, 2014 at 8:47 AM

    Lounge: My team(player ) STILL in the playoffs.Meanwhile, back at the ranch, your team is going to hire thier FOURTH coach in 5 years, talk about dysfunction! I would suggest you give up on your myopic disdain of my fandom. You are the only one with an issue about it. Continue to root for your team because of geography you sheep. I do want to give you credit though, that movie quote you used was only 6 years old, Its better than trying to use slang from over 10 years ago. Its still pathetic, but better. Im fully expecting you to trot out 5he Billy Madison quote sometime soon though. Youre that big of a dope to think thats funny too.

    Polar: Lakers fans invite the abuse. Look no further than longe and kb2408 for reasons why. Lakers fans are the most homeristic, loudmouth, know nothing fans in the nba. They have also been the most arrogant, and its why they are gettingvpiled upon when the team stinks. They are deserving of everything they are getting.

    • musician0785 - May 1, 2014 at 10:04 AM

      Nets coaches in the last 4 years

      2010–Kiki Vandweghe
      2010/2012–Avery Johnson
      2012/2013–Pj Carlesimo
      2013/2014–Jason Kidd

      that’s 4 coaches in 4 years “talk about dysfunction” lmaoooo ur so pathetic you insult your own team by trying to insult others, calling other fans “know nothing” you weren’t even aware of your own team’s coaching situation…..comedy

      • billtetley53 - May 1, 2014 at 11:01 AM

        Hey pissy eyes. At least you didnt cry in this post!! Im not a Nets fan per se. I am this year because a certain player plays for them, just like i was a Celtics fan from 2008 on. Get it?!
        Insult the orgnization all you like, its no skin off of my nose. Its humorous to me that you lakers fans take a jab against kobe or the lakers as a personal insult. So thin skinned.

      • musician0785 - May 1, 2014 at 12:26 PM

        “Im not a Nets fan per se. I am this year because a certain player plays for them, just like i was a Celtics fan from 2008 on. Get it?!”

        So what you’re saying is…..you’re a groupie?

  3. fiyeaglesfiy - May 1, 2014 at 9:48 AM

    Am I the only one that had trouble differing resigns with re-signs in the headline? Phew, and there’s that sigh of relief..

  4. fiyeaglesfiy - May 1, 2014 at 9:50 AM

    New coaching prospects, Doc Rivers if he leaves the Clippers, Gregg Marshall aka a young Greg Popovich, or how about Magic Johnson?

  5. billtetley53 - May 1, 2014 at 1:34 PM

    Dont know why my post to foul does not show up. Twice!
    I lived up to my bet, ask malt for verification. Kb2408 under his old moniker(LL) is the one that did not.
    Are you going to chastise him for not keeping his word? He was supposed to leave this site for good.
    Nah, you woyldnt do that, youre as hypocritical as the day is long.

    Musician: Nope not a groupie, good effort though. Thats 2 posts in a row with no crying.
    Great job! Garnett is my favorite player(although he is shot). I am a fan of whatever team he plays for.

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