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Kobe Bryant on Mike D’Antoni’s resignation: ‘Honestly I didn’t care’

May 9, 2014, 9:22 AM EDT

Chicago Bulls v Los Angeles Lakers Chicago Bulls v Los Angeles Lakers

Kobe Bryant made his feelings on Mike D’Antoni known.

And it worked.

D’Antoni resigned, surely feeling at least somewhat unwelcome in Los Angeles due to Kobe. Coaching an unhappy star during a lame-duck year rarely works.

Kobe played his hand effectively.

In the aftermath, Kobe isn’t spiking the football Magic Johnson style, but he’s not commending D’Antoni’s work, either.

Dave McMenamin of ESPN Los Angeles:

“Honestly I didn’t care,” Bryant said Thursday during a guest appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” when asked by Kimmel if he was “happy” that D’Antoni accepted a buyout of close to $2 million for next season rather than come back to coach the team.

“Mike was dealt a really bad hand in dealing with all the injuries that he had here,” Bryant said. “This is a tough place, man. If you’re not winning, you’re not going to survive, man.”

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Kobe also said he wants input on the Lakers’ next coaching move – something Mitch Kupchak said wouldn’t happen with whether or not the team kept D’Antoni. Even if the Lakers don’t seek Kobe’s advice, he’ll find ways to give it, anyway.

Really, the Lakers should consult Kobe. By giving him a $48.5 million extension, they enabled him to command the locker room for the next couple years. If they’d rather minimize his voice, they shouldn’t have extended him. But they did, so now they should take steps to ensure he’s happy and not working counter to the coach.

Kobe is a powerful leader. Give him a coach he cares about, and maybe his enthusiasm will trickle to the rest of the team.

  1. titansbro - May 9, 2014 at 9:33 AM

    That’s the problem with the NBA. Star players have more power than coaches & they act like its a birth right. How can people still watch this garbage?

    • pudgalvin - May 9, 2014 at 9:52 AM

      It’s a players league man. There’s 10 Eric Spoelstra’s in the league. There’s only one Lebron. It’s kind of annoying, but that’s the way it is.

      • RavenzGunnerz - May 9, 2014 at 11:34 AM

        Wouldn’t even be better if the corporate world was like this? Workers league? Keep them millionaires in check.

      • pudgalvin - May 9, 2014 at 2:50 PM

        Make yourself the best on the planet at something. You’ll have some power.

    • asimonetti88 - May 9, 2014 at 11:02 AM

      says the guy on the NBA blog

      • RavenzGunnerz - May 9, 2014 at 11:34 AM

        NBA playoffs have been soooo good, NBA haters have had a difficult last 2 weeks. so, cut him some slacks.

    • Maurice Barksdale - May 10, 2014 at 4:54 AM

      What coach in his right mind would want to come into that situation after what’s just happened with the last two? If Kobe doesn’t like you, he’ll force you out. If you don’t win immediately you’ll be fired within a month. And Kobe’s contract restricts you from signing enough talent to truly win big. So who will they find that’s worth anything that would subject themselves to a no-win situation?

  2. djlexluger - May 9, 2014 at 9:47 AM

    You’re misinformed MDA refused to adapt to his roster he stayed with his style and he failed.

    • beach305 - May 9, 2014 at 1:13 PM

      What roster? They were all injured.

  3. duhwighthoward - May 9, 2014 at 10:09 AM

    Kobe’s never cared about anyone but himself. No surprise here.

  4. sportsfan18 - May 9, 2014 at 10:42 AM

    Kobe should have ZERO input on their next coach.

    Kobe IS an all time great, but he is at the back end of his great career.

    The Lakers surely hope the coach they hire is around MORE than two years or it means it was another colossal mistake like the Mike Brown and Mike D’Antoni hires.

    So, if their next coach IS around years longer than the next two seasons, it means the coach will be there years AFTER Kobe is retired…

    You can’t plan for failure so they have to plan and hope that their new coach will be there 5 to 7 seasons or so. MOST of those years would be without Kobe.

    Also, beginning with the next time Kobe sets foot in an NBA game until he retires (due to age and injuries) he will NOT be close to the LBJ, KD, Chris Paul level at all.

    Yes, Kobe is an all time great, but his play from when he returns to when he retires will be nowhere close to the level of a player who should have a say in who their coach is.

    • purdueman08 - May 9, 2014 at 11:31 AM

      100% agreed. Kobe needs to stop being so selfish and think about the team instead of himself.

    • musician0785 - May 9, 2014 at 1:48 PM

      Same dribble EVERY Kobe article…..you need some new material

      • sportsfan18 - May 10, 2014 at 3:14 PM

        Uh, this is the FIRST time I’ve ever spoken about Kobe and whether he should have any say on who the next coach of the Lakers is…

        So it was brand new material for me…

        I really worry about some folks on these sites as their reading comprehension skills are quite lacking…

        and they let their “homerism” get in the way too…

      • musician0785 - May 11, 2014 at 5:41 PM

        do you let your trolling get in the way?

        and its NOT the first time, every Kobe article you bring one of 3 things….the contract….the coaching situation or the “selfishness”

        my comprehension is just fine….troll

      • musician0785 - May 11, 2014 at 5:43 PM

        do you let your trolling get in the way?

        and its NOT the first time, every Kobe article you bring one of 3 things….the contract….the coaching situation or the “selfishness” my comprehension is just fine….

  5. unxpexted1 - May 9, 2014 at 11:19 AM

    I think the key is finding somebody to bridge the gap between managing the end of the Kobe era and finding someone that can groom and develop up and coming players. Not necessarily an easy task.

  6. 00maltliquor - May 9, 2014 at 11:21 AM

    God bless you Mike D’Antoni. You did the right thing. LA loves you for it ♡
    lol!

  7. purdueman08 - May 9, 2014 at 11:26 AM

    Kobe thinks he’s king of the world eh? I’m only going to be around for 2 more years. You better let me choose the coach. This is the kind of attitude a locker room can do without. Not like he’s the greatest in the world anymore (if ever). Need a star that thinks about the team, not about himself.

    • ranfan12 - May 9, 2014 at 11:44 AM

      lol wtf are you talking about. he was being interviewed

      • purdueman08 - May 9, 2014 at 11:52 AM

        who cares if he was being interviewed or talking with his wife. He’s still a selfish guy.

    • k3nn3k - May 9, 2014 at 11:44 AM

      This is why Lebron is so great. He took less money to put the team together first. Kobe takes max money with no room for help when he needs it the most.

      • bkbell3 - May 9, 2014 at 12:45 PM

        Get real,Lebron took about 1-2 million less and makes 40-50 MILLION a year with his endorsements and wages and kobe did take a 6+million dollar cut in pay per year from what he was making and i do agree his new contract was to much. But let’s stop with the great lebron sacrifice like he took 5 million a year less.

      • tanna456 - May 9, 2014 at 2:12 PM

        To bkbell3: I actually think LeBron’s “Less” is more than 5 million, but who cares! Less is less!! Furthermore, what LeBron makes in endorsements has ZERO effect on the team; UNLIKE Kobe!!!!! Kobe is all about Kobe, period. I have never seen such a complete jacka$$ as Kobe in the NBA. Cannot stand this fool!

      • tanna456 - May 9, 2014 at 2:15 PM

        BTW @bkbell3. You first started by saying that LeBron took 1-2 million less, but ended by saying that he took 5 million less!! Just makin’ it up as you go along huh?

      • unxpexted1 - May 9, 2014 at 2:48 PM

        blkbell: techinically both of you are right. He took about a 2 million dollar paycut a year which comes out to about 5-6 million at this point. Either way its not like he took some HUGE cut. People make it seem like he took a 6-8 million dollar paycut a year, which is no where close to the case. They did the bare minumum to make it work.

        They are just lucky to get veterans that will sign for penny’s in order to win a chip.

      • ahemahem - May 9, 2014 at 3:36 PM

        Tha’s why LeBron is so great in YOUR eyes.

      • urodaddy07 - May 9, 2014 at 4:17 PM

        Really dude, they make practically the same money. So you have no point. Also Kobe’s 24M is not max money. Its pretty good but not max

      • asimonetti88 - May 9, 2014 at 8:22 PM

        Kobe actually took more of a paycut than LeBron did. Kobe did not take a max contract. If you’re going to bash someone, at least get your facts straight. Otherwise you’re the one who ends up looking foolish instead of the person you want to bash.

    • ranfan12 - May 9, 2014 at 11:46 AM

      specifically on jimmy kimmel

  8. soopreme - May 9, 2014 at 11:34 AM

    They should let Kobe be a Player/Coach until he retires.

    • purdueman08 - May 9, 2014 at 11:36 AM

      ok, here’s the play guys. give me the ball and get out of my way. sounds like a surefire way to a title. ha!

    • calkinsrob - May 9, 2014 at 12:58 PM

      Id love to see that.

  9. rcali - May 9, 2014 at 11:47 AM

    The Lakers continue to be the team with the bad comb over, holding on to their past. I know, I know, thumbs down Kobe jersey owners.

  10. SBoy - May 9, 2014 at 11:57 AM

    I don’t see anything wrong with letting a star player like Kobe be included in the process. Doesn’t mean he gets the final say but when you have a first ballot HOF on your roster who has played his whole career with you to me it is a common sense courtesy to have a conversation with him.

    Success for basketball, perhaps more than the other major sports is dependent on your star player/team leader buying into what the head coach’s program. From an on and off court perspective the odds are better of that going smoothly if the star buys in.

  11. crillbill - May 9, 2014 at 12:31 PM

    The roster has zero talent. Good luck.

    • brookwell2013 - May 9, 2014 at 12:41 PM

      Spot on crillbill……..their roster from last year was a sub-D League roster…just awful; I guess most of the guys are gone except Nash, Kobe, Nick Young has a player option, Sacre is signed and the team has an option on Marshall. All the other scrubs are gone…so….Mitch has a lot of work to do to build a roster; also with Kobe at $23.5m, Nash at $9.7 and the other three guys they are at $35m or so….not a lot of room for 9 more players. Cheesh….another long year ahead it looks like.

      • musician0785 - May 9, 2014 at 1:58 PM

        your math is soooooo wrong

        Kobe at 24 mil
        Nash at 9
        Sacre at abut 900,000

        and that’s it, who are the other 3 guys at 35 mil?

      • sportsfan18 - May 9, 2014 at 2:31 PM

        musician,

        he thought kobe, nash and three other players combined were making $35 million.

        he did NOT say that three other players (other than kobe and nash) were making a combined $35 million

        reading comprehension please…

  12. antistratfordian - May 9, 2014 at 1:36 PM

    “Kobe is a powerful leader. Give him a coach he cares about, and maybe his enthusiasm will trickle to the rest of the team.”

    They gave him a coach he cared about last time. That’s how they ended up with D’Antoni. They probably shouldn’t seek Kobe’s advice only because he failed so spectacularly with his last few bits of coaching input (Princeton offense, D’Antoni, etc).

    • musician0785 - May 9, 2014 at 1:54 PM

      The more you try and promote that Kobe choose D’antoni over Phil, the more ridiculous you look…..The decision to hire D’antoni was a BUSS FAMILY decision….the fact you think he would pick MDA over a guy who gt him 5 rings shows how much your hate for Kobe is blinding….and of course you’ll pull up some quote where Kobe is talking nice about Mike, as if he should’ve bashed him upon his hiring.

      • antistratfordian - May 9, 2014 at 3:28 PM

        Why is it so hard to believe that Kobe would want to work with D’Antoni? Kobe has always admired and respected him ever since he was a young lad and Mike D’Antoni was his favorite basketball player on the planet. They’ve always been close because of their Italian history.

        And when’s the last time Kobe praised anybody to the point of calling them a “genius” just because he was trying to be polite? For Kobe to call anybody a genius he has to really believe it, so that wasn’t just “talking nice.”

        I think who Kobe was trying to be nice to was Phil Jackson. His excuse for not going with Jackson as his first choice was that, “I didn’t even know Phil was an option” – even though everyone else on the planet did.

      • musician0785 - May 9, 2014 at 4:35 PM

        its not hard to believe that he would want to to work with MDA its hard to believe that he would pick MDA over Phil Freaking Jackson

    • musician0785 - May 9, 2014 at 1:56 PM

      Oh and as far as the princeton offense thing is concerned…Kobe wanted Bshaw…..management chose Mike Brown…The princeton offense was Mike Brown’s idea….but of course these FACTS might mean very little to you

      • antistratfordian - May 9, 2014 at 3:36 PM

        Wrong. An excerpt from the Adrian Wojnarowski article that broke the story, “Kobe Bryant goes back to school: Lakers switching to Princeton offense”:

        “Kobe Bryant has been searching for spacing and freedom and flow on offense, for a way to counter defenses bent on sagging and suffocating him on the floor. Even before the Los Angeles Lakers delivered him point guard Steve Nash, Bryant had raised an idea with coach Mike Brown about the possibility of employing a distant cousin to the triangle – the Princeton offense.”

        Or from the New York Daily News:

        “Bryant broached the idea of changing the offense with Brown three weeks ago in Las Vegas…”

        Or from Slam Magazine:

        “After Kobe Bryant suggested the change over the summer…”

        Etc.

        It was Kobe’s idea. And a spectacular failure.

      • musician0785 - May 9, 2014 at 4:37 PM

        No links to the source of your “information” leads me to believe that you just made it up…..putting quotes around stuff you made up, doesn’t make it an ACTUAL quote

    • ahemahem - May 9, 2014 at 3:38 PM

      So now MDA was Kobe’s idea? Kobe haters will stop at nothing.

      • antistratfordian - May 9, 2014 at 3:46 PM

        “I spoke with Jimmy (Buss) before everything went down and we talked about some of the coaching candidates and stuff and to be honest, I said D’Antoni was my first choice.”

        — Kobe Bryant

    • urodaddy07 - May 9, 2014 at 4:19 PM

      He had no input in the hire. He only said he was cool with it after the fact

      • antistratfordian - May 9, 2014 at 4:23 PM

        “I spoke with Jimmy before everything went down and we talked about some of the coaching candidates and stuff and to be honest, I said D’Antoni was my first choice.”

        – KBB

    • musician0785 - May 9, 2014 at 4:41 PM

      http://espn.go.com/blog/los-angeles/lakers/post/_/id/32589/q-and-alakers-head-coach-mike-brown

      • antistratfordian - May 9, 2014 at 4:52 PM

        That doesn’t contradict anything that Adrian Wojnarowski reported or anything that I’ve said.

      • musician0785 - May 9, 2014 at 5:20 PM

        All you do is try to play pin the blame on Kobe simply because you don’t like him….

  13. jacobk621 - May 9, 2014 at 4:00 PM

    The Lakers organization starting from the top to the bottom is one big clusterfu#k !!!!!

  14. dablakdrphil - May 9, 2014 at 6:25 PM

    Maybe my Lakers should stop hiring coaches that first name start with Mike cuz CLEARLY the last two Mike’s haven’t worked out all that well

  15. eugenesaxe1 - May 9, 2014 at 9:46 PM

    1-Kobe says he doesn’t want to play for D’Antoni, then says he doesn’t care that he quit? Disingenuous much?

    2-Kobe doesn’t need input in the next hire. He’s done in 2 years, the Lakers *should* be thinking a lot longer-term than that.

  16. joescan54 - May 12, 2014 at 2:12 PM

    Kudos to Mitch Kupchak for saying Kobe won’t have a say in the the new coach. Keep him in his place. he’s an employee. he’s not going to bring you any more titles unless you can get Phil Jackson back, since he’s the only one who can baby sit him and keep him in his place. Start drafting, Kobe will keep you in the lottery the next two years and then, start winning.

  17. musician0785 - May 9, 2014 at 5:23 PM

    it contradicts the premise that it was Kobe’s idea and not Mike Brown

    “I’ve always been fascinated with that offense ever since the days I was in Cleveland and it seemed like every year I was there we faced the Washington Wizards and Eddie Jordan in the first round.”

    So guess who Mike Brown (NOT KOBE) hires as an assistant? Eddie Jordan…..but i guess you think that was Kobe’s idea too

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