Last year was an extremely trying year for the Lakers as a whole, and Mike D’Antoni in particular. D’Antoni was a constant target of criticism for fans and analysts this whole season, and eventually, D’Antoni would resign after the season.
The move came as quite a surprise to everyone as many expected the team to retain D’Antoni for another season, but one person who wasn’t too surprised by D’Antoni’s decision was his long-time point guard Steve Nash. Nash revealed his reaction to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin:
We talked a little bit about it towards the end of the season where I could sense that he felt that he really didn’t want to do it next year. So, if that’s his wish, you want the best for him.
Nash and D’Antoni have been together for a number of years so the two maintain a close relationship. Seeing the coach in which he experienced his greatest success under walk away had to be difficult for Nash, but he seems to be content with it.
The year was a difficult one for D’Antoni and it was likely not going to get better for D’Antoni who was never accepted by the majority of Lakers fans. It is because of this, that Nash is happy for D’Antoni for walking away.
It wasn’t an enjoyable year for him. I think he could foresee that next year wasn’t going to be any more enjoyable from his standpoint, so I’m happy for him that he was able to walk away.
The Lakers must now move on and the team can not afford to miss on their next hire as both Mike Brown and Mike D’Antoni have failed to elevate the Lakers to the championship level that the fans are used to.
The Lakers have already begun interviewing other candidates, such as Byron Scott, Lionel Hollins, and Nash’s former coach Alvin Gentry. Hopefully, Nash’s health will allow him to excel in the final year of his contract with the Lakers, regardless of the coach.
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