D’Antoni and Howard clashed several times last season as the seven-time All-Star didn’t feel like his skill set was being utilized correctly within “Pringles” pick-and-roll system.
The same can be said for just about the whole Lakers team as the hiring of D’Antoni has been dumbfounding since it happened at midnight on November 12.
With Howard out of town, what does it mean for D’Antoni? Will he survive the season or receive the same treatment as Mike Brown? If the Lakers were going to fire D’Antoni, they would’ve done it now since he barely has a coaching staff and they could re-start for the upcoming season.
Howard made it clear that he wouldn’t ask for D’Antoni to be fired since he didn’t want to be known as a “coach-killer”, but him leaving will spark the “We Want Phil” chants.
I understand Lakers management and Jim Buss not wanting to look incompetent, but with the current state of the team, it’s time to check your ego at the door. Laker fans care about one thing only: winning.
It doesn’t matter how the winning is done, but as long as there’s a parade down Figueroa and some Lakers reserve dances like an idiot, suffice it to say that Laker fans will be happy. For the longest time, the Lakers have been about the fans, listening to their wishes and desires and usually coming through in successfully granting them.
As an organization, greatness is expected and whether you did or didn’t want Howard back, D’Antoni shouldn’t take all the blame for his immaturity and his inability to recognize what he has in front of him.
The Lakers will head into their next chapter with D’Antoni leading the charge and we can see what happens coming October or November, when the Lakers find themselves in the same position as last year.