However, Mitch Kupchak told ESPN that he and the Lakers have the “upmost confidence” in their head coach D’Antoni:
“Without a doubt, we have utmost confidence in Mike (D’Antoni) as a coach,” Kupchak told ESPNLosAngeles.com in a phone interview Tuesday from Memphis. “I think if you spoke to him, his vision on Day 1 was dramatically different than it is today. It’s the coach’s job to adjust and to make changes. Sometimes a player is just not going to fit. Sometimes a coach has to make changes and compromise in the way he’s done things and I think that’s what Mike is going through right now is just the process.”
So, Kupchak says the coach isn’t the problem. What is the problem, then?
“I’m a little bit concerned about our effort,” Kupchak said. “I’d like to see better effort on the court. When the ball is not bouncing your way, when shots aren’t going in, you just can’t seem to get a break, the one thing you can control on the court is your effort and loose balls and running the floor, defending, offensive rebounding. I think back to the Miami game and I have that vision of LeBron (James) diving on that ball at midcourt. That’s effort. It’s natural when things get tough to hesitate and be unsure, lose confidence. That’s one thing that we can’t let happen. We have to maintain our confidence and our effort more than anything has to be at an all-time (high) to get through this period.”
Effort. I have to agree that the effort at times isn’t there, but I think some of it is down to the Lakers having older, slower legs than most the teams in the league.
Also, isn’t it a coaches job to motivate his players? At least a little bit?
This is what you can expect Kupchak to say, though. He’s not going to come out and throw his current coach under the bus. That just wouldn’t be a wise move on his part.
How does Kupchak really feel? We can only wonder.