Los Angeles Lakers head coach Mike D’Antoni resigned late Wednesday afternoon as ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne broke the story via Twitter.
Mike D'Antoni has resigned as Lakers coach, source tells ESPN
— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) May 1, 2014
Lakers geneal manager Mitch Kupcak released this statement from the organziation thanking D’Antoni for his tenure as their head coach.
“Given the circumstances, I don’t know that anybody could have done a better job than Mike did the past two seasons,” Kupchak said. “On behalf of the Lakers, we thank Mike for the work ethic, professionalism and positive attitude that he brought to the team every day. We wish him the best of luck.”
LA Times Mike Bresnahan covered the story with comments from D’Antoni’s agent Warren LeGarie about the decision to resign,
“In order for Mike to have done his job, we felt that having the option year picked up would have changed the narrative,” LeGarie said Wednesday. “They knew that Mike would have been the coach and there would have been a different reaction. It would have been difficult for him to do his job without it.”
LeGarie is speaking about the recent reports where D’Antoni asked Lakers management to pick up the option year in his contract so that he would know for sure he was a part of the team’s future. With the report coming out last week and the Lakers remaining silent publicly thus far, D’Antoni’s decision to resign seems justified so that he could have control over his future.
“It was an impossible decision for Mike,” LeGarie said. “He loved the guys on the team, the young guys. He clearly felt he had impacted their development and they had a real good buy-in on this. But clearly there wasn’t enough there to get us past some of the issues.”
After having a 67-87 record since being hired, this resignation allows for D’Antoni to decide his own fate within the NBA and for the Lakers to have a fresh start. D’Antoni’s system never really fit the players the Lakers had like many hoped it would. Now the team has the chance to find their own identity and configure who they are going to be moving forward.