According to a report from ESPN’s Dave McMcnamin, the Lakers are leaning towards letting head coach Mike D’Antoni go at the season’s end. D’Antoni was hired early in 2012 to replace Mike Brown after Brown was fired five games into the 2012-2013 season.
D’Antoni’s roster with the Lakers has been marred by injuries, but that doesn’t dispel D’Antoni’s ineffectiveness as a head coach over the past two seasons. The Lakers are one of the league’s worst defensive teams, not to mention the team’s most tenured players – Pau Gasol and Kobe Bryant — never seemed to buy into D’Antoni’s style on either end of the court. It’s also worth noting that this latest rumor of D’Antoni’s fate comes on the heels of the Lakers signing GM Mitch Kupchak to a contract extension.
If D’Antoni is let go, expect the rumors of Kentucky head coach John Calipari to Los Angeles to regain traction. Calipari would fit in well with the Lakers’ image, and would be the most high-profile hiring the Lakers could do since bringing Phil Jackson back for a second stint in Los Angeles back in 2005.
D’Antoni has coached the Lakers to a 25-53 record so far this season after going 40-32 in 72 games in Los Angeles the season prior.
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