Los Angeles Lakers fans can take their pipe dreams of Phil Jackson making a triumphant return and toss it away because it won’t be happening.
According to a story via Pro Basketball Talk, Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak, told the Los Angeles Times that head coach Mike D’Antoni will be returning to the helm next season.
“Yeah, he’s back. I think he’s done a great job,” Kupchak told The Times. “There’s been no discussions otherwise.
“He’s made adjustments. He’s been flexible. He’s evaluated how he coaches as the season’s progressed. He’s listened to the players. He’s very easy to work with and we think in particular since the meeting the day of the Memphis game, yeah.”
I’ve seen some in the media and even Lakers fans on Twitter, appoint D’Antoni as the scapegoat for the Lakers troubles throughout the season, although, he inherited a team that was embroiled in controversy and to be frank, incredibly flawed. Did he have some turbulent months while in charge? Absolutely, but he was dealing with some unusual circumstances within the construct of the team on top of fan mutiny.
The Lakers looked dead and buried for the better part of the season and yet as of today they stand as the 7th seed in the Western Conference standings with their crutch Kobe Bryant (pun intended) missing crucial games down the stretch.
I think this is the right decision, he deserves a chance at molding this team into his image from training camp, and besides, I don’t think the Lakers want to pay another coach millions to sit at home.