Today is day one of the Lakers’ 2014 exit interviews, and one thing is clear: The guards love Mike D’Antoni (well, aside from Kobe Bryant who is now on vacation in France) and the bigs hate him.
OK, hate may be a bit of an extreme word – after all, nobody really has a bad word for D’Antoni as a person – though it’s obvious that his system doesn’t cater for the big guys who want to slow the game down and bang down low in the post.
Therefore, it wasn’t surprising to hear Chris Kaman and Jordan Hill declare that they’d be open to returning to the Lakers this summer, but depending on what changes are made by Mitch Kupchak and Jim Buss.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen,” Hill said, “I had a great time here … [but] there were lots of ups and downs.”
Hill’s right. One week he’d be playing starter’s minutes and posting nightly double-doubles, then another week he wouldn’t see any game action at all.
Kaman was in a similar situation – Hill, jokingly, called Kaman a “butthole” during his exit interview – and admitted that he thought his situation would be a lot different in Los Angeles this year when he signed with the team last summer.
When he put pen to paper, Kaman said that he expected himself and Pau Gasol to play together in the front court on a regular basis.
Of course, favoring a smaller lineup, D’Antoni rarely experimented with the two bigs at the 4 and the 5.
Both Hill and Kaman are sure to receive a number of offers from other teams around the league this summer, and even if D’Antoni is fired, it wouldn’t be shocking to see them leave for pastures anew if the role and money is right elsewhere.