A lot of Los Angeles Angeles Lakers fans will scoff at Mitch Kupchak’s assertion that head coach Mike D’Antoni has been anything but terrible but I think he has a valid point.
D’Antoni has had to deal with so much adversity since joining the Lakers, some of it admittedly was self administered but a lot of it was out of his control.
Kupchak defended his head coach in the face of criticism but stopped short of committing to him past this season. Per the Slam Online via the LA Daily News:
“I think he’s done a great job,” Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said.
The Lakers’ 125-109 loss Wednesday to the San Antonio Spurs at Staples Center marked just one of many losses has entailed an injury-riddled roster. But even with the Lakers (22-45) destined to miss the playoffs for only the fifth time in playoff history, both Kupchak and Kobe Bryant showed sympathy for D’Antoni.
“It’s been tough on him,” Bryant said Wednesday on The Dan Patrick Show. “The two years that he’s been here, he’s been dealing with so many injuries left and right. He hasn’t really gotten a fair deal, fair shake at it since he’s been here.”
Bryant offered a non-committal “I don’t know,” on whether D’Antoni should stay. But what about Kupchak?
“I don’t want to get into that with those kind of questions,” Kupchak said. “He’s done a great job and dealt with a year last year when he was here part time and a ridiculous amount of injuries this year.”
D’Antoni has gone 62-77 through nearly two seasons with the Lakers. But the Lakers don’t plan on evaluating him until after the season ends.
If you’re cynical like me, Kupchak’s comments comes off like the proverbial “kiss of death.” I guess we’ll see if he meant it when the season wraps up in a few weeks.