Mike D’Antoni resigned while in New York. Could he do the same in Los Angeles?
That’s doubtful, though there’s a chance that he could leave to take another coaching job elsewhere, and that appears to be just what the Lakers are hoping for.
According to Mitch Lawrence from the New York Daily News, the Lakers would prefer to have a “peaceful, mutual parting” with D’Antoni this summer instead of yet another messy breakup.
There could be something to this seeing as Mike Bresnahan from the L.A. Times reported earlier this season that the Lakers were reluctant to part with D’Antoni as the team “don’t want to be known as a franchise that lacks coaching stability.”
However, if D’Antoni were to leave for another job – let’s say, to coach at his alma mater, Marshall University – then it would make things seem a little more amicable.
According to Lawrence, general manager Mitch Kupchak “is said to be on board with the idea that the Lakers can’t keep playing the same way under the coach, with no regard for defense.”
D’Antoni did himself no favors this year when it comes to his reputation of being a poor defensive coach.
Under D’Antoni’s watch this season, the Lakers have given up 109.5 points per game which is second only to the 17-63 Philadelphia 76ers who give up an average of 110.2 points per contest.
Sure, the injury woes this season have been unbelievable, but being blown out by a franchise record 48 points is just not acceptable.
These guys are all NBA players, after all.
So, if the Lakers do part ways with D’Antoni this summer, who might replace him?
Despite Rex Chapman’s claims, Lawrence says that the Lakers have “absolutely no interest” in hiring Kentucky’s John Calipari. Instead, Lawrence offers up the names of Byron Scott and Kurt Rambis as possible candidates, two guys who have come up in a number of Lakers coaching rumors in recent days.