Two years into a doomed marriage, Los Angeles Lakers head coach Mike D’Antoni quit his job on Wednesday.
D’Antoni walked into an impossible situation from the start: Steve Nash’s body completely fell apart, Pau Gasol rejected and Kobe Bryant completely ignored D’Antoni’s hoops philosophy, and Dwight Howard was physically unable and emotional unwilling to buy into the program last season.
Frustrated with his contractual situation – D’Antoni had one more year at $4 million left on his deal, but the Lakers declined to pick up his option for the 2015-16 season at another $4 million – MDA decided to resign instead of adding uncertainty to his mountain of problems with this team.
Per the LA Times:
The Lakers’ coaching search will be “completely wide open,” but they are not expected to have a new coach in place by the May 20 draft lottery, according to a person familiar with their thinking.
”In order for Mike to have done his job, we felt that having the option year picked up would have changed the narrative,” agent Warren LeGarie said Wednesday. “They knew that Mike would have been the coach and there would have been a different reaction.”
“It was an impossible decision for Mike,” LeGarie said. “He loved the guys on the team, the young guys. He clearly felt he had impacted their development and they had a real good buy-in on this. But clearly there wasn’t enough there to get us past some of the issues.”
Mike D’Antoni will receive less than half of the $4 million salary he was due for next season. His brief, horrific tenure as head coach of the Lakers included one of the worst seasons in franchise history (a 27-55 stain in 2013-’14), and an overall record of 67-87 in Los Angeles.
Reportedly, D’Antoni still wants to coach.