According to Sporting News’ Sean Deveney, Kobe Bryant has had enough of the losing and sources close to the superstar have said that Kobe will not play for head coach Mike D’Antoni next season and wants a new coach in place for the 2014-2015 season.
Bryant, sources said, has “no interest” in playing for D’Antoni next season, and wants a new coach in place for the 2014-15 season.
It is not exactly a shocking revelation as Kobe is one of the fiercest competitors in sports today, but the fact this news is starting to leak out after his strong words in his press conference on Wednesday in which he called out the front office and called for change this summer:
Then it goes down to the coaching staff, what Mike (D’Antoni) is going to do, what they want to do with Mike and it goes from there. It’s gotta start from the top.
Unfortunately for D’Antoni, the writing on the wall is looking clearer and clearer by the day. Just a few days ago, ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith said that his sources informed him that D’Antoni would be fired at the end of this season and additionally, Bleacher Report’s Ric Bucher said in his article that some Lakers players have been assured D’Antoni will not return next season:
At least two other players frustrated with their current roles were told to be patient because the Lakers will have a new head coach next season, sources said.
There have been plenty of burned bridges this season between players and D’Antoni, notably big men Pau Gasol, Jordan Hill, and Chris Kaman. In what has become a concerning trend of inconsistent playing time and comments in the media, it is not a surprise to hear that players are frustrated with the coach in what has been arguably the worst season in Los Angeles Lakers history. Deveney shared similar sentiments on Twitter on Wednesday:
Should be pointed out, Kobe not the only Laker who'd like coaching change. Vets who preceded D'Antoni –Gasol, Hill– would be on board, too
— Sean Deveney (@SeanDeveney) March 12, 2014
Despite all of that, the feelings of one Kobe Bean Bryant have the most impact on the direction of the franchise. Kobe, who was notoriously called a “fan” by D’Antoni after a Twitter-spree during the Lakers first round matchup versus the San Antonio Spurs last season, seems to have put his foot down.
While he did not say it directly, it sounds like Kobe’s comments in his press conference were loud and clear as they were in 2007…
“Do something and do it now.”