Will the Lakers Be Looking For a New Head Coach?

Dwight Howard and coach Mike D'Antoni.

Dwight Howard and coach Mike D’Antoni.

Is Mike ’Antonio about to get fired?  ESPN’s Chris Broussard reported via Twitter that sources say“Dwight Howard [is] unlikely to re-sign with the Lakers. Dallas and Houston the favorites. Main issue w/Lakers is Mike D’Antoni’s system”.  There is little doubt that Lakers management dropped the ball when it came to selecting Mike Brown as their head coach, passing up on Brian Shaw, and that they made perhaps an even bigger mistake in opting to select ‘Antonio as their new head coach after prematurely firing Brown when Howard seemed very much excited about the prospect of working with Phil Jackson.  If the report is true, it will not mark the first time that Howard has had issues with a head coach.  Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy found himself out of work after Howard had reportedly asked that he be replaced.  The Magic did not act fast enough though and Howard forced a trade.  The Lakers may not be as lucky as they could lose Howard to free agency and receive nothing in return.

 

Dwight Howard and Stan Van Gundy did not part on good terms and neither are now with Orlando.

Dwight Howard and Stan Van Gundy did not part on good terms and neither are now with Orlando.

Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak has been supportive of both Howard and ‘Antoni, but it seems clear that if the Lakers hope to retain Howard they will have to get rid of ‘Antoni.  If this happens, the Lakers would be paying three coaches next season: Brown, ‘Antoni and whoever they bring in to replace ‘Antoni.  The high turnover rate for head coaches in the league is perhaps worse than it has ever been with Greg Popvich recently speaking out about how teams need to maintain a consistent culture in order to achieve success; something the Lakers did during Jackson’s tenure, but things have taken a turn for the worse since Jackson’s retirement.  If it means keeping Howard though, dropping ‘Antoni would be the right decision.

 

And yes, I took the “D” out of “D’Antoni” on purpose.  When he puts some “D” back into his coaching, I will put the “D” back into his name.

 

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