Despite reports out there that the Lakers could be leaning toward retaining Mike D’Antoni, my sources tell me that is not the case. If anything, they’re leaning toward relieving him of his coaching duties at the end of the season.
If this sounds like the exact opposite of what Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report reported, it is.
There are a couple possibilities here:
1. The Lakers’ persuasions have changed. They’ve gone 0-4 since Ding’s report, and although D’Antoni can do only so much with this roster, he hasn’t impressed anyone in this stretch.
2. The Lakers don’t know what they’ll do, and the difference between McMenamin’s and Ding’s reports is their sources’ agendas. The Lakers have multiple decision-makers, and it’s possible not everyone agrees on D’Antoni.
Either way, D’Antoni’s future with the Lakers looks bleak.
If McMenamin’s report contains the newest and best information, that speaks for itself.
If the Lakers were unsure of their plans, it seems they’ve empowered Mitch Kupchak to craft the team by extending his contract – at least until Jim Buss can’t help but to supersede. If Kupchak can now implement a long-term plan, what are the odds he wants D’Antoni to coach the team? Of all the coaches available?
The best reason to keep D’Antoni was if the Lakers wanted to defer making long-term plans for another season, leaving little reason to pay two coaches at once. But if they know where they’re going, it’s probably time for D’Antoni to get going.