During the worst season in franchise history since moving to Los Angeles, there were rumors that Kobe Bryant and Mike D’Antoni were not on the same page. After the season ended, there was speculation that the five-time champion did not want to play for D’Antoni again and the former coach was well aware of that, leading to his resignation.
According to ESPN LA’s Dave McMenamin, the relationship between the star and coach deteriorated to the point where they barely spoke:
The Bryant-D’Antoni relationship deteriorated to the point where the pair barely spoke by the end of their tenure together.
Bryant would often use the Lakers’ shootaround time to receive treatment in the training room. When D’Antoni thought this was causing a disconnect between Bryant and his teammates, the coach asked the star guard to change his routine, according to a league source.
With the Lakers looking for a new head coach, Kobe Bryant acknowledged that he hopes to be asked for his opinion from the front office. After the last two hires in D’Antoni and Mike Brown did not exactly work out, the team faces their most important off-season in quite some time.
After signing Bryant to a two-year, $48.5 million extension this past season, the five-time champion’s opinion should factor into their decision. However, the team also needs to think about their future and take into consideration their lottery pick and who the best fit is for the prospect.
According to ESPN, the Lakers have not reached out to any coaching candidates, but are expected to do phone interviews soon. While they will not schedule any sit-down sessions until later this month, Lakers should have a good idea of what direction they will go in after the NBA draft lottery on May 20.
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