Kobe Bryant And Mike D’Antoni ‘Barely Spoke’ By The End Of Season

Kobe Bryant And Mike D’Antoni ‘Barely Spoke’ By The End Of Season


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During the worst season in franchise history since moving to Los Angeles, there were rumors that Kobe Bryant and Mike D’Antoni were not on the same page. After the season ended, there was speculation that the five-time champion did not want to play for D’Antoni again and the former coach was well aware of that, leading to his resignation.

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According to ESPN LA’s Dave McMenamin, the relationship between the star and coach deteriorated to the point where they barely spoke:

The Bryant-D’Antoni relationship deteriorated to the point where the pair barely spoke by the end of their tenure together.

Bryant would often use the Lakers’ shootaround time to receive treatment in the training room. When D’Antoni thought this was causing a disconnect between Bryant and his teammates, the coach asked the star guard to change his routine, according to a league source.

With the Lakers looking for a new head coach, Kobe Bryant acknowledged that he hopes to be asked for his opinion from the front office. After the last two hires in D’Antoni and Mike Brown did not exactly work out, the team faces their most important off-season in quite some time.

After signing Bryant to a two-year, $48.5 million extension this past season, the five-time champion’s opinion should factor into their decision. However, the team also needs to think about their future and take into consideration their lottery pick and who the best fit is for the prospect.

According to ESPN, the Lakers have not reached out to any coaching candidates, but are expected to do phone interviews soon. While they will not schedule any sit-down sessions until later this month, Lakers should have a good idea of what direction they will go in after the NBA draft lottery on May 20.
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  • 3339

    Good thing this sucker is gone.

    • Jim213

  • Matt1

    The last time Kobe did something drastic that upset Laker fans (demanding a trade in 2007), management got rid of Kwame Brown and landed Pau Gasol and won 2 championships… Kobe knows what he’s doing and sometimes the Buss’s need a little nudge to do the right thing for the team!

  • Jay Brodes

    i am with kobe on this one. i would not talk to a coach that got me hurt in 2013 either…dantoni should live with this fact..period! good job. he was banged up..no reason to leave him in to get killed!

    • Lakers lifer

      Dude you have a bad memory! Kobe played nearly 3 full games during the end of the 12/13 season coz he was willing his team into the post-season. After the 2nd game, he said D’Antoni tried to take him out of the game and he refused, staying in to help the team. IF playing too many minutes caused the Achilles injury (and that’s something that we really can’t determine) you can’t dump that all on the coach. Kobe is human and has played a lot of ball. An extra few minutes in a couple of consecutive games likely wasn’t a major factor.

      • Rhondel

        You do make a good point and it is true that Kobe was determined to do all he could to see them into the playoffs. However, managing the minutes of players is the responsibility of the coach not the players so ultimately, the coach is to blame for his minutes. Knowing Kobe, he will not be happy to sit at those times, in the 4th quarter so D’antoni could have planned to sit Bryant at the periods where he would be the least upset. No one said the job of the coach should be easy. Phil used to sit Bryant when he didn’t want to go out of the game and at the end of the day Kobe was never upset.

        • hookedonnews

          Ever read either one of Phil’s books? No one controls Kobe. Even Mitch Kupchak tried to get him to cut back on his minutes, and he basically told him no. Achilles injuries are common, and the idea that those minutes had anything to do with that has been de-bunked by more than one expert. More likely it was the 17 seasons and all the games he’s played. Besides, who was D’Antoni going to put into the game? If you’ll recall, we had the worse bench in the league. Taking Kobe out of a game when the playoffs aren’t in jeopardy is not the same as fighting for your life to get into the playoffs.

      • comrade24

        agree to a point, but ultimately it’s the job of the coach to manage his players, their games and their egos. he failed to do that, Phil didn’t. This is why we must have a veteran coach who Kobe respects and will listen to. No Kevin Ollie, No Derek Fisher (as HC at least), no college coaches period.

    • Davey

      Agree 100%

  • daniel

    Once again, Kobe show how CLASSLESS he is. It sounds like a little child, if things are not going my way, I do not talk to the coach. Fuuu..
    As a leader he should be the first on supporting him and pushing all together until the end. If then you see it did not work out, well, sorry, we are moving in a different direction.
    This year, nobody would have done much else for the Lakers, not even Phil.
    But to pull the rug from the guy in the middle of the tournament, men, o men.
    And this is coming from a Guy (Kobe) that said many times, before D’Antoni was hired, that he always wanted to play for D’Antoni, because he knows him since Childhood (Kobe’ father and D’Antoni played together in Italy), that he was a great coach and everything.
    I can understand it from a little young prick, but Kobe, at 37, my god.
    My opinion about Kobe: You should try to be a champion on and off the field, you do not own the Lakers, be a professional, and please, GROW UP.

    • vdogg

      are you kidding? kobe probably knew mike was going to get run out. oh, and kobe is 35… not 37. get a clue.

    • Lakersforlife

      Why would kobe support him. If they had two seasons full of injuries. And Gary vitti said it best about the fast paced game increasing the chance of injury as opposed to Phil Jackson’s slow pace half court game. Plus 95% of laker fans hate the guy too! So no reason to support the guy!!

  • condemor

    Don’t trust the Gm and buss children.. they wanted to keep mike after their worst record in their history, if it hadn’t been because mike’s resign.. they would’ve kept him.. WTF!

    • Sylvia Ross

      I am so glad you wrote this I am happy to know that someone else feels the same exact way I that I felt. pringles, would have still been in Laker land had he not quit or I’m wondering if they had a clue that he wouldn’t want to stay if he had not been granted that fourth year ?

    • http://www.foxhilldesign.com Josh

      But they weren’t committed to him. They were unwilling to pick up the option on his contract to keep him for the 4th year. I think Mitch and the Busses saw there were no solid coaching candidates out there and were considering just keeping MDA for one more year. If the roster was finally healthy and things worked out, great, but if not, move on next year. Doesn’t matter anymore, but we all see the long list of rumored coaching candidates and not one of them has WINNER on their resumes.

  • http://growingforward.net Scott Asai

    MDA seems to have that endearing quality about him no matter what superstars are around him…glad that loser is gone!

  • hookedonnews

    D’Antoni didn’t leave because of Kobe. He left because the FO wouldn’t pick up that 4th year option. And at this point, why do we care? Can we just move on? I know nothing is going on at the moment, but I think this story (most of which is speculation anyway) is about as relevant as what I had for lunch today. D’Antoni is gone, and Kobe is Kobe. Tell me something I don’t know.

    • LakersOverEverything

      I’m just curious, but why do you defend D’antoni so vehemently? It seems like I only see you post when it’s in defense of D’antoni. Of course, that’s probably not the case, but either way, why defend him every time someone talks down on him? Why not just see it and not see it lol? Don’t mean to come across as rude, I’m just genuinely curious to know.

      • Lakers4Life

        Probably because he’s one of the 2 people who loves sucking Dumbtoni’s pringles all day ;-D

        • hookedonnews


      • hookedonnews

        I don’t know why you believe my comment was meant to defend D’Antoni. I was just correcting the statement that he left because of Kobe. I do plenty of posting that has nothing to do with MDA. Yes, I believe he got a raw deal in LA from a lot of fans who have shown by their comments they know very little about him as a coach. If you have read my posts you would know that I just thought he deserved a shot with a healthy roster. But that’s water under the bridge, and there’s no point in worrying about it now. As I said in my previous comment, time to move on.

        • LakersOverEverything

          Ok, I can go for that. Thanks for answering honestly, without being a jerk about it.

          Edit: btw, anyone can answer this, but how do I change my avatar?

          • hookedonnews

            You should be able to change it by clicking on it and going from there.

  • Lakers4Life

    Good riddance that Dumbtoni! Nobody wants to play with a crappy coach who gets all his players injured at some point or another during the season lol. Good riddance indeed.

  • LakersHeatBeef

    Mike D’Antoni is trash and i am glad he is out with the other garbage.