Posted April 18, 2013

Mike D’Antoni will return as Lakers coach, says Mitch Kupchak

NBA
Mike D'Antoni will return as coach of the Lakers next season. (Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Mike D’Antoni will return as coach of the Lakers next season. (Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Los Angeles Lakers head coach Mike D’Antoni has a job to come back to next season.

General Manager Mitch Kupchak said before the team beat the Houston Rockets on Wednesday night that D’Antoni will be back as head coach of the Lakers next season and said he’s done a great job so far, adding that there have been no discussions otherwise, according to a Los Angeles Times report from Mike Bresnahan. The Lakers not only secured a playoff spot late Wednesday night, but the win over the Rockets gave them the seventh seed and a first-round matchup against the No. 2 San Antonio Spurs.

Kupchak lauded D’Antoni for remaining flexible throughout the season and listening to his players, and in a rare instance of certainty in an otherwise uncertain season, Kupchak said definitively that D’Antoni will be the Lakers coach next season:

“Yeah, he’s back. I think he’s done a great job. There’s been no discussions otherwise. He’s made adjustments. He’s been flexible. He’s evaluated how he coaches as the season’s progressed. He’s listened to the players. He’s very easy to work with and we think in particular since the meeting the day of the Memphis game, yeah.”

D’Antoni is 40-32 as coach of the Lakers this season, and has taken the team to a 28-12 record since calling that team meeting in Memphis in January after a 106-93 loss to the Grizzlies. He has two years and $8 million remaining on his contract with the Lakers, who also owe another $6 million to Mike Brown after parting ways with him in November.

Kupchak said D’Antoni, 61, needs more time for a fair shot because of the injuries, lack of a training camp, and unfamiliarity with the team and its personnel after coaching the New York Knicks and only seeing the Lakers twice in a season.

“Much has been made of the injuries, and the coaching change [in November] and no training camp, which is certainly a part of it. [Y]ou’re in New York coaching and you see the Lakers once or twice a year, you don’t know the personnel. And the injury situation when he got here, Steve Nash had the broken leg. There’s just too much going on to really look at it any other way.”


4 comments
SukeMadiq
SukeMadiq

It does not matter, ball hog Bryant is uncoachable.

HFA571
HFA571

@ Petey Gary, I agree with you totally, however we know that won't happen, Jim Buss has some kind of personal vendetta against Phil for some odd reason, I guess because Dr Buss looked at Phil as a son, whatever the case might be, I feel its better for Phil to stay away from the Lakers, marry Jenny and that should be his only Laker ties...lol, Mike D'Antoni is a run and gun style coach, he would be great for Denver, Clippers even OKC, however Lakers are a half court team with two of the best low post players on the planet, point blank, he does not know how to use them, due to Kobe's injury there dumping the ball in the post more but game should of been inside outside within the triangle offense with consist of more ball movement and rotation, with that said, the Lakers will never get back to the finals under D'Antonio (sorry Laker fans) the system is broken, I was totally shocked as he was they hired him over Phil, to me and a lot of Lakers fans that was a dumb move, if I had $$$, I'd let Phil coach my little league team for 10 million a year if he wanted...lol, he's one of the all time greatest coach's on the planet, how they did him after the Mike Brown firing was horrific and stupid, end result, Lakers limped into the Playoffs, only bright side of this picture is they get to play the Spurs in the 1st round of Play-offs, if they play together and speed the game up a tad bit, they'll beat the Spurs, they are old sorry to say, good team, but if you put pressure on them on the offense end consistently, they will crack in a 7 game series, its how OKC eliminated them last year, Lakers will definitely have to bring there A game, however if the Spurs are in top form and Tony "BIGHEAD Parker is getting to his spots whenever he wants, well Lakers are going to get there ???? handed to them. I guess we'll see.

PeterGary
PeterGary

Mitch has to step aside. He has to now take on a roll like Kenny Williams did with the Chicago White Sox. Williams bumped himself up and then hired his assistant to do the day-to-day GM duties. Mitch should do the same, hire Phil as the GM. The Lakers are NOT about "backing into" the playoffs. The Clippers and OKC have embarrassed the organization enough. Stop fooling around Jenny. Your hubby to be ain't getting any younger.