On the day the Lakers make their pitch to free agent Dwight Howard, here comes the rumor Laker fans have been waiting for. According to Sportige.com, the Lakers are willing to cut ties with coach Mike D’Antoni in order to keep Dwight Howard.
“The general feeling among the people calling the shots for the Los Angeles Lakers is that if they fail in re-signing Dwight Howard, last season’s attempt at creating a super team is becoming a long-term failure with serious repercussions. In order to avoid that fate, they’re willing to fire Mike D’Antoni.”
The Lakers haven’t hired a coaching staff for D’Antoni yet, a strange development especially as star assistants like D’antoni’s former aide Alvin Gentry have taken jobs elsewhere. Not a great sign for coach’s job security, especially when the Lakers’ star free agent has voiced his concerns with D’Antoni’s basketball style.
However, just because the Lakers would be willing to cut ties with Mike, doesn’t mean Howard will call for it. ESPN’s Dave McMenamin reported that Dwight’s camp will not ask for D’Antoni to be fired.
Source close to Dwight: "Howard has not asked for Mike D’Antoni to be fired and Howard will not ask for that"
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) June 30, 2013
Dwight’s camp is said to be interested in hearing about the organizational structure of the Lakers going forward, and coaching stability, or lack thereof, is going to play a part in his decision.
This should make for an awkward situation at the Lakers pitch meeting today, which D’Antoni is a part of, if his job is really up in the air.
With Dwight looking for an organization pointing in the right direction, the Lakers will likely have to take a unified stance on coaching, one way or the other.