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D’Antoni may be on the way out of Los Angeles

Heading into the season without Kobe Bryant, head coach Mike D’Antoni knew the Los Angeles Lakers were in trouble with a young, inexperienced roster that was about to be thrown into the fire against the talent of the Western conference. Yet, 31 games into the season with a record of 13-18, including Bryant out at least another month, it is D’Antoni who may be in trouble.

The Lakers were defeated – at home – by the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday night, a team that sits at the bottom of the worst division in basketball. A team that, prior to their game in Los Angeles, had won just one road game.

The Sixers beat the Lakers 111-104 to snap their 13-game road losing streak and send Los Angeles to their fifth straight loss. This comes just two days after the Utah Jazz, owners of the conference’s worst record, beat the Lakers.

Following the disappointing contest, D’Antoni entered a closed-door meeting with general manager Mitch Kupchak, according to Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report.

This does not necessarily mean D’Antoni is getting the boot, but it is certainly an interesting development. The Lakers are clearly struggling, and injuries haven’t helped.

Steve Nash, Steve Blake and Bryant have all been out an extended period of time. Pau Gasol has missed the last two games with an upper respiratory infection while Xavier Henry left Sunday’s game after straining his knee.

Despite the injuries, however, turning the ball over 22 times while shooting just 37 percent from the field against one of the league’s weakest teams are issues to be concerned about, especially for the one of the most successful franchises in NBA history.

There have been suggestions for the Lakers to tank this season and enter next year with a fresh start, a lottery pick and a healthy Bryant. Yet, the proud superstar has publicly been opposed to the notion.

Even with their flaws, the Lakers are just 4.5 games back of the Dallas Mavericks for the eight seed in the West. A trade to bolster their roster could potentially sneak them into the playoffs, but even with a healthy Bryant, the Lakers do not pose a serious threat in the West.

It seems as though both coach and team are in it together, and as the Lakers fall, so will D’Antoni.

 

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  • Marty Susman

    We have t pay this coach either way so we might as well except his inability to win OR we could do the RIGHT thing & bring in Byron Scott with Kurt & bring in Fish as well as an asst. coach. As for tanking, please YES WE SHOULD since we NEED a great first round pick… If we can get Philly to trade a few of their 1st rounders to us for Gasol, Blake, Kaman, Meeks & Nash or “ALL OF THEM COMBINED” that would be great as well…

    • hookedonnews

      Derek Fisher has a job, and there’s not going to be a coaching change. I’m pretty sure you know that Philly wouldn’t make that deal.

  • hookedonnews

    There’s no reason to believe that D’Antoni is on his way out. He and Kupchak had a meeting. That’s all you know. Why would you fire a coach who has all his top players out and has done pretty well with a group of players that couldn’t make it elsewhere? If you want to be taken seriously as a writer, stop putting out this kind of stuff. Ding’s article was bad enough. Why add to it by repeating something that any thinking person knows isn’t true?

    • Matthew Hochberg

      Thanks for reading and giving your feedback.

      You’re right – I would agree that the chance of D’Antoni remaining head coach (at least for now) is certainly higher than the chance of the Lakers parting ways with him. However, crazier things have happened in sport than coaches (especially in a market like Los Angeles) getting fired after their teams continue to struggle.

      It is speculation, but significant speculation nonetheless and news that NBA fans may be interested in. And yes, D’Antoni and Kupchak just had a meeting, but it took place – like I noted in the story – after a loss to one of the worst teams in the league, at home. For a proud franchise such as the Lakers, this can be seen as inexcusable, despite the injuries.

      Only time will tell what is going to occur in LA, and it will definitely be fun to follow.

      I appreciate you taking the time to read my work!

      • hookedonnews

        I agree that anything is possible, but because of the money situation, the injuries, and the less than stellar lineup to begin with it seems highly unlikely that D’Antoni would be fired. He’s gotten a lot of praise from NBA pundits and others like Jerry West for the job he’s done with this group of players.

        My problem is that there is so much bogus information being put out there that seems to be written for the purpose of bringing out the D’Antoni haters or for generating controversy among fans. I read your article after having read about 5 articles that fall in that category. Your article was well-written. I just couldn’t take any more speculation that I thought was either just put out there for reaction or was just ill-informed. No offense. I appreciate you taking the time to respond to my comment.

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  • Marty Susman

    D. Fish is a shell of his old self & would LOVE to be a coach on the Lakers. As for not changing coach’s, don’t be silly, this guy is gone if not for the fact that NO ONE could bring this team a winning record so why does int matter. The front office will fire him when the fans scream enough…