Kobe Bryant and Mike D’Antoni have had an interesting relationship. Kobe idolized D’Antoni when Mike played in Italy professionally, where Bryant grew up. After Mike Brown was fired early last season, Bryant had said publicly that he wanted Phil Jackson. After D’Antoni was hired, he seemed on board with the decision. Now, reports have come out that say Bryant checked himself in and out of games, and that he wasn’t on board with his style of play. When Kobe was injured during the playoffs, he tweeted critical things about how they were playing, and D’Antoni called him “just a fan.” During Media Day, Kobe came out and said that he didn’t really think they should be playing Mike D’Antoni’s style.
Kobe left for Germany to get treatment on his knee, and according to the New York Daily News, he didn’t bother to tell his coach:
Still recovering from his torn Achilles last April, Bryant has yet to be cleared to run or jump by the Lakers. His return date to the team for game action is unknown. The team said he went to Germany for treatment unrelated to the Achilles injury. Interestingly, he didn’t tell Mike D’Antoni that he was leaving, choosing to notify the team’s long-time trainer, Gary Vitti, instead.
“Kobe not telling Mike D’Antoni tells you something about what Kobe thinks of coaches, and also Mike’s status,’’ said one NBA head coach. “Now if that were Phil Jackson, I would think Kobe would have told him he was going.’’