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Mitch Kupchak Not Concerned With Dwight Howard Liking Mike D’Antoni Reviewed by Momizat on . Rumor has it that Dwight Howard hasn't been Mike D'Antoni's number one fan this year. Naturally, there's been a lot of chatter surrounding Dwight's future with Rumor has it that Dwight Howard hasn't been Mike D'Antoni's number one fan this year. Naturally, there's been a lot of chatter surrounding Dwight's future with Rating:
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Mitch Kupchak Not Concerned With Dwight Howard Liking Mike D’Antoni

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Mitch KupchakRumor has it that Dwight Howard hasn’t been Mike D’Antoni’s number one fan this year. Naturally, there’s been a lot of chatter surrounding Dwight’s future with the Lakers potentially being dependent on D’Antoni’s status as the head coach of the Lakers. Two weeks ago, Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak told the Los Angeles Times that Mike D’Antoni would be back next year. At Lakers exit interviews yesterday, Kupchak reiterated that he stood by the statement he made two weeks ago.

Yesterday, Kupchak was asked whether or not he got the sense that Howard liked D’Antoni. Kupchak revealed that whether or not a player lakes a coach is not of concern to him.

“I think Dwight likes winning and he likes performing at a high level. I think he’s fine with Mike D’Antoni, but I’m not really concerned if a player likes a coach. So I don’t ask that question. Our coaches are evaluated on wins and losses. That’s how we evaluate the team so I’ve never came out and asked a player, ‘Do you like this guy?’ That’s really not relevant to me.”

Kupchak was probed further when a reporter asked what would happen if a potential free agent said he wanted a particular coach or he wouldn’t sign with the organization.

“This organization has a precedent with that kind of a situation and I think we learned our lesson.”

—- Check out Lakers big man Dwight Howard’s player bio here! —-
If coaching is a variable Howard is weighing in his decision to stay with the Lakers organization or go elsewhere, it sounds like D’Antoni is here to stay. When asked about D’Antoni yesterday, Dwight had this to say,

“We have a lot of old guys so it was tough to do a lot of the things that Mike wanted us to do…We had to just sell out to whatever he wanted, whether we liked it or not…We had to do what was going to benefit the team, and being one of the leaders on the team, I had to make sure I kept the guys in line to what the coach wanted us to do.”

D’Antoni  has two more guaranteed years left on his contract for a total of $8 million. If Dwight makes the smart business decision to sign with the Lakers, hopefully “selling out” to D’Antoni will produce Lakers exit interviews in June, rather than April.

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VIDEO: Did you catch Mitch Kupchak’s amazing response to questions about the amnesty provision?


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About The Author

Serena Winters is the Lead Reporter for Lakers Nation. Besides out-eating the rest of the staff, she's most known for carrying snacks with her to all media events. Make sure to follow Serena on Twitter at @SerenaWinters

Number of Entries : 689
  • Coach KANE

    your a shmuck. After Kobe leaves. who will you try to go after next, and spend so much Luxury tax money and then charge the fans in ticket sales.. Dantoni was a bad hire.. dont act like your crap dont stink and swallow it up, you made a mistake in firing Brown when He had the same system and the results were the same at the end of the year.. Count your loses and go after Phill and keep Howard and go after your ring.. Its not about you at hand of the day.. its about US THE FANS!!

    • hookedonnews

      Actually it’s not about us. Teams don’t make decisions based on what fans want. If they did, they wouldn’t stay in business very long. Brown didn’t have the same system, and he had lost 11 games in a row. Phil Jackson is not coming back. He has no desire to coach. That should not be news. D’Antoni had no shot to really succeed this year because of the ridiculous number of injuries and because he came in after the season started. Tickets at Staples are never going to be cheap. If the Lakers had hired Jackson and given him what he was demanding, you would really be seeing some high ticket prices.

      • Coach KANE

        last time i checked US/WE, pay to see the players play, we pay internert and ticket sales memorabilia ect. so yeah its about US the fans. if we didnt have a good team we would be cslled the BOBCATS : and we the FANS would.not go tobsee games or either watch them on TV. and if Phill would be back, regardless of what his demands were, we would not be innthos situation regarles of the line up. His systems works. no matter whos on the court. and DumbTonis systems is not made for this type of roster. get your facts stroght if your gonna challange me in.theory

        • hookedonnews

          As I said, teams don’t make decisions on players or coaches based on what the fans want. I never said that fans aren’t important; just that owners/management make decisions based on what’s best, not on the opinion of fans. You don’t have any facts about what this team would have done with Jackson coaching. You have suppositions and guesses, but those are not facts. This team was going nowhere once Nash, Kobe, Meeks, and Blake were out. It doesn’t matter who was coaching. And don’t give me the speculation that if PJ was there Kobe would not have been injured. Kobe has been playing for 17 years. An injury like that can happen at any time. The trainers and people who have had the same injury have all said that the amount of minutes Kobe was playing (his choice, by the way) had nothing to do with this injury. D’Antoni changed his system to fit the roster, and Steve Nash would have been wasted in the Triangle. That’s one of the reasons Jackson was not hired. Your assumption that it doesn’t matter who’s on the roster as long as Phil Jackson is coaching doesn’t match up with history. He wasn’t able to deliver a championship the last year he was with the Lakers with a pretty good lineup. The team was swept and was in obvious disarray with Bynum and Odom both clearly out of control. D’Antoni is a good coach and deserves the opportunity to prove it with a training camp and hopefully a healthy group of players.

          • Coach KANE

            sorry, but imma go with a NO on that one. . Dantoni was fired from his last to jobs, DUE TO HIS PLAYERS NOT BELIEVING IN HIS SYSTEM.!!it does not work!!! He deserves a chance to be fired again!!!! because if that is the case, then Brown should not have been fired and given another chance at as well!!!

          • hookedonnews

            I’m sorry, but you are mistaken. Dantoni left Phoenix on his own because the GM had gotten rid of good players and brought in players that he didn’t want. He was not fired. He also resigned from the Knicks. He was in the last year of his contract, and he was dealing with Carmelo Anthony who was refusing to be a team player. He knew that was a battle he couldn’t win because of all the money they had paid Anthony so he resigned. I could give you a detailed account of what went on in NY, but there’s no point in writing a book here. If you don’t believe me just google Mike D’Antoni and read it for yourself. I have followed D’Antoni for years, and I know what I’m talking about. His players did believe in his system. The Suns were very successful using it, and the Knicks are still using it. I don’t know where you are getting your ideas, but they are not even close to the reality. His system works extremely well. Most of the teams in the league use it. Mike Brown was fired because they wanted a coach who could utilize the talents of Steve Nash. The Princeton offense Brown was using made Nash irrelevant. D’Antoni was the obvious choice because of their years together in Phoenix. The Buss family and Mitch Kupchak couldn’t wait because this team was put together to win now while Kobe was still playing. They didn’t believe Brown could get the job done. The fact that he had lost 11 games in a row didn’t help his case. He’s got a job in Cleveland now, so I’m sure he’s not worried about it. He’s probably glad he didn’t have to deal with the avalanche of injuries that decimated the Lakers.

          • Coach KANE

            oh my gosh!!! look at what your saying!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

            you just prove my point.!! so let me elaborate on what your trying to say!!! With the suns, he left because of the players that were brought in, and Dantoni didn’t want those players,

            with New York he left because an over payed player didn’t want to work with his system.!! in both cases it looks like the same result!!

            and its this;

            1. DANTONI IS A QUITTER WHEN HE DOESN’T GET HIS WAY.
            2. DANTONIS SYSTEM IS NOT WELCOME BY PLAYERS
            3. PLAYERS DON’T LIKE OR RESPECT HIM,
            4. HE DOES NOT KNOW HOW TO UTILIZE THE TALENT IN THE PLAYERS THAT HE HAS.
            5. HE IS NO PHILL JACKSON….!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • Coach KANE

            AND I DON’T KNOW WORSE COMING FROM DANTONI.

            QUITTING AND TUCKING TAIL.OR BEING FIRED, OR QUITTING BEFORE YOU GET FIRED BECAUSE YOU LOST CONTROL OF THE TEAM YOUR COACHING!!!!

            NO MATTER WHICH WAY YOU PUT IT. DANTONI WAS NOT A GOOD FIT FOR THIS LAKER ROSTER.

          • hookedonnews

            I have been trying to post a comment on your last comment for the last couple of hours, and for some reason it won’t load. So I’m going to try and put it here instead.

            Yes, next year will hopefully give Mike D’Antoni a real opportunity to coach this team. It doesn’t really matter what would have happened if Phil Jackson had been hired (although there’s no reason to believe he could have had any better outcome with all the injuries) because they didn’t hire him and never really intended to. Yes, he has a relationship with Dwight Howard and that could have been a factor in Howard staying, but there’s no indication (except unfounded speculation) that Howard has a problem with D’Antoni. I doubt that Howard would leave because of D’Antoni. More likely he would leave because of Kobe. These people like Skip Bayless or even Magic Johnson who talk about sports don’t really understand what it’s like to come into a situation after the season has started with half your players injured or below par and try to evaluate players and establish any kind of team chemistry. Magic was like most fans. He thought Phil was coming, and he never really gave MDA a chance. Magic was a great player, but he wasn’t at practice every day, and he didn’t watch every game or listen to what the coaches and players were saying. Same goes for Bayless, Stephen A. Smith, and the rest of the sports talking heads. D’Antoni knew he was going to have to modify his system somewhat from the moment he was hired, and he continued to do that throughout the season. Whatever happens next season will not make all your statements true. If D’Antoni is going to be successful in LA he will need healthy players who play like a team. He’s also going to need a good bench which is probably not going to happen. Kobe Bryant is also a wild card. When will he return, and will he be a team player or revert to 25 shots a game? Time will tell. But regardless of what happens, the basic facts about D’Antoni remain. He turned a horrible Phoenix team into a 62 game winner the first year he was there. They beat the Lakers more than once in the playoffs. He’s a good coach and deserves a little more respect than he’s gotten in LA. It’s been an interesting discussion. Hopefully we’ll both be happy next season when the Lakers win a championship.

          • Coach KANE

            Well, as much as i dislike Skip Bayless, i agree on some things he mentioned about Dantonis Style of coaching.
            Stephan A Smith on the other hand is a much more reliable source, because; he is always around players and he hears from the players htem selves, about how they feel about Dantoni and his system and his style of coaching. Magic has credibility,because; he was also a coach and was coached by one of the best coaches mind of ALL TIME (Mr. Pat. R.)
            so i take their input, and i observe the games and the players body language, and discretion in holding back comments when asked about their coach in TV interviews. yes i can read between the lines and i can see how most players are upset at how they were used and coached. so all this player relationship that MDA has , i call it bogus.. maybe with his prefered, but not with all. but in all fairness , lets Give MDA a full chance to make due on his pay rate, to bring a championship to this team!!! And last thing, about his relatuionship with players, if it were true, Howard would be %100 % all in for LA, IF HE HAD A
            player?COACH relationship as you say/

          • hookedonnews

            SAS is much more familiar with what goes on in NY than he is what goes on in LA. I can tell you from listening to him that he knows very little about Mike D’Antoni and what has gone on with the Lakers this year. Every time he mentions MDA he tells a story about something that D’Antoni said over 10 years ago. You would think he would have a more current example. He makes a lot of assumptions that most people make who don’t listen to what MDA and the other coaches and players are saying. People like SAS and Bayless (and even Magic) don’t watch all the Lakers games or listen to the coaches and players being interviewed after practice or after games. I do. With regard to Howard and his decision about staying in LA–were you watching the circus in Orlando the last 2 seasons he was there? The guy has no clue what he wants to do. He is the most indecisive person I have ever seen. He’s also immature. He’s probably trying to figure out if he wants to put up with Kobe Bryant for another year. Yes, I’m sure if he viewed D’Antoni as a 2nd father or a mentor he might not be taking this long, but that doesn’t mean he hates D’Antoni or doesn’t want to play for him. I don’t know what D’Antoni’s relationship is with the Lakers players other than Nash, Kobe, and Blake (it’s obvious that Blake likes him). I simply said that he’s known as a players’ coach and is generally well-liked by the players he’s coached. I hope fans will give him a reasonable chance to prove he can coach this team.next season.

          • Coach KANE

            well.. in this sport, you are liked by your winning percentage,
            trust me, i know, first hand,
            .

          • hookedonnews

            True. That’s the bottom line, but some coaches are more liked by their players than others. You’ve got to win though, or it won’t matter whether your players like you or not.

          • hookedonnews

            The reasons I gave you for D’Antoni leaving Phoenix are not the only reason he left. He had a tremendous opportunity in NY which is one of the best coaching jobs in the NBA. Plenty of coaches have left teams to go to a better situation. That doesn’t make him a quitter. If it does, there are plenty of other coaches who fit that description. No coach is going to stay in a situation with a GM who is trading away all his good players and bringing in players he doesn’t want. The Phoenix ownership and GM have continued to make questionable decisions, and many of the fans are very unhappy. There is no reason to believe that players don’t like or respect him. As a matter of fact, he is very well-liked and known as a players’ coach. The only person who refused to cooperate with D’Antoni in NY was Anthony who has since realized he has to be a better teammate. (And by the way, Denver played much better after he left.) All these scenarios you’re throwing out never happened. The Knicks were playing well under D’Antoni and went to the playoffs for the first time in years the first year he was there. Things went downhill after they traded off a lot of their good young players to acquire Carmelo Anthony. He was the problem not D’Antoni. As I said before, he was in the last year of his contract and who could blame him for seeing the handwriting on the wall. Carmelo wasn’t going anywhere. If you’ll recall, the Knicks played much better when Anthony was hurt before D’Antoni left NY. The decision to quit was his and not the first time a coach has left an impossible situation. Kind of like Jerry Sloan leaving Utah because he was tired of dealing with Deron Williams. Think Jerry Sloan is a quitter, too? As I also said before, most of the teams in the NBA use D’Antoni’s system. Frankly it’s not up to the players to decide what system they’re going to play. Think Popovich’s players are telling him which system to play? D’Antoni has adjusted his system to his personnel, and the Lakers have never played a pure version of his offense. You’re right. He’s not Phil Jackson, and that’s not a crime. The Lakers didn’t want PJ and his Triangle offense. They wanted D’Antoni and his system. The Knicks use it, and they are an older team than the Lakers. No one is saying D’Antoni is perfect. However, you, like a lot of other fans, who knew virtually nothing about him before he arrived in LA, have never given him a chance because he’s not Phil Jackson. He’s an exciting, innovative coach who has changed the way offense is played in the NBA. There’s no reason to continue to blame him for what happened this season. No coach could have salvaged this season after Kobe, Nash, and Blake went down. The starting 5 played together for 7 games all season. What did you expect?

          • Coach KANE

            UUUMMM NO. ALL THESE SCENARIOS YOUR TRYING TO UT OUT THERE TO BACK UP YOUR PRIOR STATEMENTS ONLY CRY OUT FOR HELP. YOU HAVE ALREADY DUG OUT YOUR OWN GRAVE. STUDOMIER DID NOT LIKE DANTONY AND THAT IS WHY HE LEFT THE SUNS. AND AFTER DANTONI (QUT) NEW YORK THEY WENT ON A WINNING STREAK DUE THE THE ( NEW SYSTEM ) COME ON NOW. GET WITH REAL FACTS AND WITH BETTER ARGUMENTS. I LEFT YOU A SMALL VIDEO OF HOW KOBE LAUGHED AT HIM FOR TRYING TO CONTROL HIS MINUTES. HE IS NOT A COACHES COACH OR A PLAYERS COACH. IF IT WERE TRUE HE WOULD BE A WINNER NOT A QUITTER. STICK WITH ONE TEAM AND MAKE IT HAPPEN, IF YOU CAN NO, THEN JUST STAY AS AN ASSISTANT.

          • hookedonnews

            Once again your “facts” are wrong. Phoenix did not want to offer Stoudemire a max contract because of his knees. He was a free agent and went to the Knicks. He had nothing against D’Antoni. D’Antoni was already with the Knicks when they signed Amare. The Knicks did not change their system when D’Antoni resigned. Yes, they won games but not because they changed the system. I have seen Mike Woodson say that they are using D’Antoni’s system. I’ve already seen the Kobe video. Kobe also told Mitch Kupchak he couldn’t control his minutes. Do you think Kobe doesn’t respect Mitch Kupchak? Kobe has a long time relationship with Mike D’Antoni. He wore #8 when he came in the NBA because that was D’Antoni’s number. He idolized him as a kid in Italy where his dad played. When Kobe was asked by the owners who he thought should replace Mike Brown he said Mike D’Antoni. What I have told you about D’Antoni being a players’ coach is what I have heard former NBA players who have played for him say. I don’t know where you get your ideas, but most of them are not based in fact. It’s easy to repeat things that other people (who also don’t have the facts) say on these comment boards, but it doesn’t make them true. You can easily get the truth if you’re interested, but I’m pretty sure you’re not. You just want to bash D’Antoni. Maybe you should read what Jerry West said about MDA being unfairly criticized.

          • Coach KANE

            I KNOW THE HISTORY OF KOBE AND DANTONI AND HIS DAD AND BLAH BLAH BLAH!! MAGIC JOHNSON HAS ALSO SAID, ALONG WITH COOPER, LESLIE, AND BAYLESS, AND OTHERS, THAT A GREAT COACH USES THE ABILITIES AND STRENGTH OF THE PLAYERS AND PUTS THEIR TALENT IN A POSITION TO WIN. AND NOT TRY TO FORCE HIS RUN AND GUN SYSTEM ON AN OLD ROSTER.

            BOTTOM LINE ABOUT IT IS THIS. THE RESULTS OF HIRING DANTONI AND FIRING OF BROWN WERE THE SAME IN THE END. AND YOU MIGHT NOT HAVE HOWARD NEXT YEAR BECAUSE OF IT. IF PHILL WAS THE HIRE, THEN HIS EXPERIENCE AND WISDOM ALONE WOULD HAVE KEPT HOWARD AS A LOCK PLAYERS REGARDLESS OF THE OUTCOME IN THE PLAY OFFS, THAT I GUARANTEE.

            THE DANTONI HIRE WILL OBVIOUSLY WILL CONTINUE TILL NEXT YEAR. LETS ALL HOPE THAT HE REDEEMS HIMSELF AND TAKES THIS TEAM TO THE PROMISE LAND. IF NOT, THE ALL MY STATEMENTS WOULD BECOME TRUE, AND THIS ARGUMENT///// DISCUSSION WILL COME TO AN END. BUT TILLTHAT HAPPENS. YOU AND I AND MOSTLY EVERYONE(LAKER FANS) WILL DISAGREE WITH THE DANTONI HIRE.

  • Dj Sparkle

    it wasnt the Lakers messing up the chemistry or the season…it was mike damn-dummy…..he thought he was coaching his old phoenix and n.y. teams…and we got the same results he always gets …garbage…we as laker fans are use to winning…i dont give a ratsass if D12 or Damn-Dummy come back…i want a player and coach with nothing but wins or their mind and in their pedigree…move jim buss-ter out the way and let jeannie buss and her fiance run the Lakers for 5 years and see wont we win championships at least 4 outta those 5 years

  • ndongo

    which part you do not understand. after firing mike brown and paying him for seating at home. The Lakers are simply stuck. They just cannot afford to pay 3 coaches at once as the result whether they like coach D Antony or not they have no choice. They would have done better to pay Phil all that money. That was a dumb move they did last year I bet jimmy Buss is to be blamed. that alone probably would have deserved the firing of jimmy buss but guess what we cannot do it because he owns the team. it is sad that we don’t even have that opportunity. The least we can do now is to convinced him to be like father like sun. enjoy life with those young girls and sign the check only and move jenny to his post so that he can stay out of decision making. Even that will be a tall order the man got too much ego. his decision making simply left to be desired. all these years he spent next to his father it looks like it was in vain . he never learned a thing from the master. that is sad. No one seem to like him. there has to be a reason.

    • JD

      Actually the Lakers are able to write off part of Mike Browns salary since there was a clause in the contract, so in reality they only have part of Brown’s contract if any at all so they could afford to fire dum-dum

  • ndongo

    All these years around his father, Jimmy buss comes across as dumb as if he never been around him. that is sad. I guess some people just cannot learn regardless.

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