Yesterday, sources claimed Dwight Howard and Mitch Kupchak discussed Mike D’Antoni and his involvement of Howard in the offense.
Today, Kupchak retorted those claims in a phone call with Orange County Register reporter Kevin Ding. Kupchak reiterated past remarks that no player would dictate coaching decisions, saying he “wouldn’t let it go there” in conversations with players at the end of the year.
Kupchak also responded to comments made by Phil Jackson that Dwight Howard has little reason to return to a team that doesn’t feature him, insinuating that D’Antoni struggled to do so last year. Kupchak’s response was one you’d expect from a GM, as he stood strong behind his coach. “Our coach’s job is to win games and to feature the strength of every player on the team,” Kupchak told Kevin Ding. “This is a very tough team to pick one player and say, ‘Let’s feature that one player.'” Jackson’s comments came in an interview on Dan Patrick’s radio show.
Considering it’s not even June yet, this back-and-forth between Kupchak, Howard, and Jackson is a bit surprising. While the rumor mill is a vicious one, especially in the current Twitter-dominated world. However, with the end of the Lakers’ season less than a month old, one has to wonder how far this could go.
What is certain is that the Lakers will likely have changes. This will be a summer full of activity, all of which you can keep track of on The Lake Show Life.