With the Los Angeles Lakers eliminated from the playoffs since March and headed for their worst franchise record in 54 years, there has been speculation that the team may move in a different direction with head coach Mike D’Antoni.
However, Bleacher Report’s Kevin Ding says the franchise is leaning toward retaining D’Antoni, who has one more guaranteed season left on his Lakers contract:
“D’Antoni has one more guaranteed season left on his Lakers contract, and the club is leaning toward retaining him despite some privately disgruntled players and massive public disdain. It’s not clear which way the Lakers will go with him.”
After firing Mike Brown five games into the season last year and not hiring Phil Jackson, D’Antoni has been heavily criticized since his arrival. With a franchise that is unaccustomed to losing, it has been a frustrating season to say the least. However, injuries have completely derailed the past two seasons and Kobe Bryant recently mentioned that D’Antoni hasn’t gotten a fair shake because of it.
With eight games remaining in the season, it will be an interesting off-season for the Lakers. With the franchise determined to turn it around as soon as this off-season, they will have the opportunity to do so with ample cap room and a high pick in this year’s highly anticipated draft.
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