Report: Kobe Bryant is the only one keeping the players from “completely tuning out” Mike D’Antoni; has already lost big parts of the locker room

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Ross Pickering

Ross Pickering is the founder of Lakerholicz.com. He's here to bring you daily updates on your Los Angeles Lakers, despite living 5,485 miles away from L.A. in Eastbourne, England.
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Here’s yet another report that the Los Angeles Lakers are in trouble with head coach Mike D’Antoni.

According to Chris Broussard, D’Antoni has already lost big parts of the locker room, and Kobe Bryant is the only guy holding it all together: lakers-mike-dantoni

Beyond that, there are strong rumblings that D’Antoni already has lost significant parts of the locker room. Two sources close to the situation have told me that many of the Lakers are fed up with D’Antoni and his system and that Kobe Bryant is the only one keeping many of the players from completely tuning out their coach.

Now, I’m pretty certain that Steve Nash will be backing his guy D’Antoni too, but this still doesn’t sound too good. Even Kobe didn’t sound all that confident the other night when he said the team had to “go back to basics…obviously, this isn’t working,” – so much for confidence in the system, huh?

Broussard also goes on to mention what we posted yesterday: Dwight Howard is having second thoughts about re-signing with the team if D’Antoni is still on board:

What’s worse is that I’ve heard talk that Howard is hinting he won’t re-sign with the Lakers if D’Antoni is the long-term coach. I’m not sure whether that’s true because I haven’t heard it from Howard or anyone in his camp. But it makes all the sense in the world. Howard wanted the ball more in Orlando, where he was the focal point of the offense, so he certainly can’t be happy with the offense he’s in right now. It’s hard to see him wanting to play the next two seasons or more in this system.

The Lakers can’t afford to lose Howard because of a coach like D’Antoni.

Of course, there are more problems than just the coaching – D’Antoni is just the start of it – but when your guys are forming a mutiny against you and you no longer have control of the players in the locker room, what good are you as a coach?

The players always win in the NBA. It’s a players’ league. If they turn against the coach – especially a franchise guy like Dwight, who the Lakers plan on having on their side for the next decade – you’d have to imagine that D’Antoni’s days in Los Angeles are numbered.

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