Last month, Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant was very vocal about not having the patience to go through another disastrous season. With Bryant signing a two-year, $48.5 million contract extension at the start of this season and nearing the end of his career, he obviously wants the Lakers to build a championship contender.
With the Lakers struggling, there has been speculation about possibly moving in a different direction at the head coaching position and Bryant having a voice in these discussions. However, in an interview with USA Today’s Sam Amick, Kupchak said Bryant will not factor in on the decision on head coach Mike D’Antoni:
“We will not consult with him. No, we won’t consult with him.”
When Amick mentioned that there is a perception of Bryant not going to bat for D’Antoni publicly, the Lakers GM reiterated that they will not consult him and will take some time to evaluate the season:
“We won’t consult with him. Our decisions going forward — we’re not going to do knee-jerk stuff. We’ll let the season end, and take some time. We’ve got a lot of injuries and surgeries to sort through. That’s a lot to accomplish. We have the draft coming up?”
With the Lakers suffering their worst season in franchise history, there are a lot of questions on what direction the franchise will take. While the team will have ample cap room and a high draft pick to work with, the biggest question mark is whether they will retain Mike D’Antoni for next season.
Over the past week, there have been conflicting reports on the future of D’Antoni. Some believe the Lakers will keep him for the remainder of his contract that ends next season while others believe there will be a new head coach.
Although injuries have completely derailed this season, management faces the most important off-season in recent years. The last time the Lakers were in this position, they drafted Andrew Bynum with the 10th pick in the 2005 NBA Draft and were able to rebuild in two seasons.
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