With the Los Angeles Lakers getting swept out of the playoffs – and with Dwight Howard’s then-pending free agency – many people wondered whether Mike D’Antoni’s stay in L.A. would be short lived. However, D’Antoni claims he wasn’t one of those people.
According to the Los Angeles Times, D’Antoni says that the faith put in him by the Lakers’ management put him at ease heading into the off-season, despite the disastrous end to a horrible season:
[pullquote]D’Antoni never feared for his job security despite the first-round playoff flameout.
“No, because Mitch [Kupchak] and Jim Buss were really supportive and great,” he said of the team’s front-office executives. “I couldn’t ask for anything better from the staff and franchise. I don’t want to be flippant, but you also have to have an attitude of, ‘To hell with everything. Concentrate. Go forward.’ You can’t get distracted by the noise.”[/pullquote]
The Lakers are behind D’Antoni, and the fans should be, too. He deserves a full training camp and a roster full of healthy players who want to run his system. If he gets that this coming season, then – whatever the outcome is – we’ll be able to judge him fairly going forward.