Kobe Bryant reportedly does not want Mike D’Antoni back
The Los Angeles Lakers have played their way to 22-42 record this season. Kobe Bryant appears likely to miss the remainder of the season with a knee injury and will start fresh for the 2014-2015 season. He is reportedly hoping to do so without Mike D’Antoni.
According to Sean Deveney of the Sporting News, Bryant has “no interest” in playing for D’Antoni and is hoping a new coach will be in LA by the start of next season. D’Antoni has done little to secure his job since he was hired by the Lakers prior to last season. If Kobe and his new two-year, $48 million extension want him gone, that will be all the more reason to fire him.
As we know, D’Antoni and Pau Gasol have had problems working together since day one. Gasol believes D’Antoni does not coach to his strengths. Bryant seems to agree, and he considers Gasol a close friend. He has said in recent weeks that he wants the Lakers to keep Gasol this summer.
With Kobe aging rapidly, the Lakers would be wise to gear up for one final championship run this offseason. They will have plenty of cap space to sign top free agents like Carmelo Anthony, and I’m sure Kobe would love to bring ‘Melo on board. However, Anthony had his problems with D’Antoni when he coached the New York Knicks prior to going to LA.
Bottom line? D’Antoni might as well start packing his bags.