Lakers News: Mike D’Antoni Praises Players For Staying ‘Together’
The 2013-14 NBA season will officially come to an end on Wednesday with the Los Angeles Lakers facing off against the San Antonio Spurs.
With the future uncertain for Mike D’Antoni once the season comes to a close, the head coach gave the players a lot of credit for continuing to stay together despite battling through a disappointing season according to Mark Medina of L.A. Daily News:
“They’re professional and stay together,” D’Antoni said. “Everybody is in the same boat and wants to look good. You don’t look good if you scatter, don’t play hard and play together. They understood that and they did their job. They came in without much support. There wasn’t any. They banded among themselves and tried to do the best they could.”
Although fans of the storied franchise aren’t exactly in favor of keeping D’Antoni, the head coach is under contract for next season. The Lakers aren’t crazy about the prospect of paying two coaches next season if D’Antoni is sent packing. Despite that being the case, the team parting ways with D’Antoni remains a scenario they’ll consider heading into the off-season.
As for the players, Pau Gasol and Kobe Bryant have publicly expressed concern over D’Antoni’s style of play. Players like Jodie Meeks and Nick Young have flourished in D’Antoni’s offense, but Gasol hasn’t felt comfortable over the last two years and rumors have begun to circulate that the Spaniard won’t be back if D’Antoni is retained.
Jordan Hill and Chris Kaman have also become increasingly frustrated with D’Antoni’s coaching style and the inconsistent playing time. Small ball hasn’t been beneficial for the majority of the veterans on the squad.
Plenty of players may have expressed frustrations with the head coach, but that doesn’t necessarily mean D’Antoni won’t return. Most of the players on the current roster are set to become free agents this summer giving the Lakers flexibility both in free agency and at the head coaching position.
D’Antoni On Management And Lakers Future, Joel Embiid At The Game