Mike D’antoni Wants Two More Years

As we are nearing a decision on Mike D’antoni’s fate, Ramona Shelburne of ESPN Los Angeles reported that Mike D’antoni is pressing the Lakers management for a quick decision. He also wants the Lakers to pick up the option for his 4th year. In effect that would guarantee that he would be the Lakers head coach for two more years, this year and next year. Next year is the free agent class the Lakers are investing their hopes in. Negotiating with D’antoni at their side would make a stunning statement, saying everything by saying nothing, just pointing to D’antoni and his zero championship rings. It is equal to telling prospective players to come here but there will be no playoffs, no defense, no rebounding, no rings, no championships, none of the details that gets you to the playoffs and what makes you a champion. Young players will come in droves. But nobody who is a veteran in this league and has paid their dues and wants to win would sign over three or four years to play for Mike D’antoni.

Let’s examine the logic of this, of D’antoni. If you are Kevin Durant, you can go back home to Washington and play with John Wall and Bradley Beal. Why suffer through D’antoni’s miserable defense? How can the Lakers pitch Kevin Love or Kevin Durant to play for D’antoni when D’antoni has alienated almost every post player he has ever coached, when he refuses to form relationships with his players, when he is never accountable for what he does wrong. How do you sell that?

But I don’t blame D’antoni in asking for job security. He knows a one year deal makes him a lame duck coach. In the NBA that gives him no authority. In that scenario the players-Kobe and crew- will have no reason to invest in his system. Why bother? They know he is going to be gone in six months. But the funny thing is- D’antoni assumes he is the one with leverage in this situation. Someone who can actually make demands. This from a coach who brought an organization their worst season in Los Angeles history. A coach who alienated one of the most prideful and skilled big men. Whose defense was the worst defense in Lakers history. That takes a lot of guts. If he only showed this much guts coaching the Lakers big men .

Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports reported that the Lakers are reluctant to offer D’antoni the second year and for good reason. It’s a death sentence for the free agent market. Bringing D’antoni back for just one year is going to be drama on its own. Kobe didn’t buy into D’antoni last year. He scrapped his offense and played the way he knows how to play, a hybrid Phil Jackson get into the paint type of game. With Kobe going off the island and instituting his own offense instead of the D’antoni offense the tension and fireworks are going to start early. And D’antoni wants two years of that, the last two years of Kobe’s career?

Marc Spears also reported that D’antoni is optimistic about coming back. Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report reported there is a split in the Lakers front office. Kupchak is supportive of D’antoni but Jim Buss is on the fence. Who would have guessed Jim Buss would take the fans side? D’antoni’s optimism notwithstanding, no meetings are scheduled and why would they be? Season ticket renewals are due May 19th, the day before the lottery. Some fans are already talking about letting go of their season tickets if D’antoni returns. Others fans are talking about a Frank McCourt style boycott. Jim Buss says he will step down in 3-4 years if the Lakers aren’t contenders. It might take a decade for the Lakers to recover from two more years of Mike D’antoni.



Tags: Los Angeles Lakers Mike D'antoni

  • cyborgspider

    Hope this leads to the amicable, “mutual parting” that was reported a few weeks ago.

    “Well Mike, we want you back, but just want to see how next year goes. If you make the playoffs, we’ll keep you another year.”

    “Well Jim & Mitch, how can I make the playoffs if you don’t have faith in me to give me that extra year? Besides, I might not make the playoffs if the roster doesn’t fit my system”

    “Sorry Mike, we’re not sure we can build to your specifications, so we can’t do the 4th year yet. We hope you understand”.

    “Okay, I understand. I’m in a lose-lose situation and I see I’m not needed here. Please accept my resignation”.

    A city cheers, and the LA Riot police are dispatched to control the ensuing celebration.

  • Paul J. Lorona

    Hell no!!! He’s not the answer…

  • Matt Dorlaque

    Two more years of no defense and shooting before anyone is ever in position for an offensive rebound. With such a sound strategy and the unchecked ability to waste the talent of anyone that doesn’t fit into his blatantly stupid system, the Lakers should turn it around.

  • Dino Madness

    It’s very simple if Jim Buss doesn’t fire D’Antoni and allows him to come back he might as well stick out his finger at all the Time Warner executives who are paying the Lakers Billions to carry all the games the next 20 years. When they hire D’Antoni Jim gave credit to his father that he ultimately hire D’Antoni and now he wants to give credit to Kupcake. Jimmy Boy needs to grow a pair and take responsibility.

  • hookedonnews

    Why would he not ask for another year? It’s business. I doubt that he expects to get one. And your statements about what FA’s can expect in LA sound like they came right off one of these threads. The idea that no FA wants to come to LA & play for MDA is totally without any factual basis. Repeating something doesn’t make it true. I read statements like that all the time, but no one is quoting any FA’s. None of those out-of-work coaches have any championships either. Your statement that D’Antoni thinks he has leverage is also laughable. He doesn’t even know if he has a job next season. How is that leverage? The idea that it would take the Lakers a decade to recover from MDA is also ridiculous. I don’t know if you actually believe what you’re saying or are just pandering to the D’Antoni haters. Either way, that’s another statement without any basis. The Suns went to the WCFs 2 years after MDA left. I don’t know why you believe his presence is going to destroy the Lakers. There’s no reason to believe that if you’re a rational, objective person.