A bunch of players on the Los Angeles Lakers had issues with Mike D’Antoni this season. Pau Gasol and Antawn Jamison both publicly acknowledged that they had problems with their new head coach, though it seemed that Pau and Mike managed to smooth things over as the season progressed.
Dwight Howard may not have ever come out and publicly disrespected D’Antoni directly, though he did question Mike’s system numerous times throughout the year, emphasising that the ball needed to go through the post. Though, to Mike’s credit, there was a lot more post action later in the season.
Dwight is of course a free agent this summer, which has led some to believe he may stipulate that he’ll only re-sign with the Lakers if D’Anton is fired.
According to Steve Kyler, this isn’s the case:
Dwight’s reluctance to stay out of the coaching situation is understandable, seeing as there was a rather large public backlash after he apparently got Stan Van Gundy fired in Orlando – who knows is this was actually true, though. One hint that it wasn’t true could be down to the fact that Dwight and Van Gundy are still friends and keep in touch regularly.
However, if I was Dwight, I certainly wouldn’t want to sign with a team for five years if I didn’t like the coach. The point of free agency is being able to make your own decision on where you want to play, and the coach you want to play for is certainly a part of that decision.
Does Dwight want to play for D’Antoni? Who knows, but it certainly didn’t seem like he wanted to earlier in the year. Apparently, Dwight also wanted Phil Jackson to be the next head coach after Mike Brown was fired, so who knows where he stands right now and if the Lakers’ coaching situation will affect his decisions during free agency.
H/T to Hoops Rumors