Mike D'Antoni resigns as Los Angeles Lakers' coach

By Zach Harper | NBA writer

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After nearly two frustrating and tumultuous seasons as the coach of the Los Angeles Lakers in which job security and faith in his coaching had been questioned on almost a daily basis, the Lakers have announced that Mike D'Antoni has resigned from being the coach of the team. D'Antoni was entering the third year of a three-year contract in which the Lakers held a club option for a fourth season.

D'Antoni was hired during the 2012-13 season after Mike Brown had been fired five games into the season. In nearly two full seasons with the Lakers, they made the playoffs in 2012-13 and missed the playoffs with the worst season in the Los Angeles era. The Lakers had a 67-87 record under D'Antoni and were swept in the 2013 playoffs when they faced San Antonio Spurs.

While D'Antoni was supposed to have a great relationship with Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash, he clashed in the 2012-13 season with Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard. D'Antoni admitted to trying to run things more through Howard in an effort to get the center happy with the Lakers and hopefully have him re-sign there, but it didn't work when Howard left the team after just one season and signed with the Houston Rockets.

D'Antoni's relationship with Gasol had many bumps in the road and the Spanish big man often voiced his displeasure with the direction of the team and his role in an offense he wasn't comfortable playing in. The Lakers suffered several huge injuries in D'Antoni's first season with Nash breaking a bone in his leg, Howard injuring his shoulder, Gasol going through various leg and foot injuries, and the big one when Bryant ruptured his Achilles' tendon at the end of last season.

In the 2013-14 season, the Lakers put together a roster of one-year deals and poor role players that D'Antoni coached to 27 wins. They saw more injuries to Nash, a new injury to Bryant after just six games back, and Gasol eventually getting vertigo. Many role players brought in also suffered injuries.

D'Antoni is 455-426 in his coaching career with a playoff record of 26-33.

Mike D'Antoni has reportedly left the Lakers. (USATSI)
Mike D'Antoni has left the Lakers. (USATSI)

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