When it looked like the Los Angeles Lakers were going to retain head coach Mike D’Antoni for another season, the departure of big man Pau Gasol seemed inevitable.
Gasol reportedly did not like the way he was used in D’Antoni’s system and did not want to return if D’Antoni remained the coach.
A coaching change also might make the Lakers more attractive to Gasol, an unrestricted free agent who intimated he wouldn’t consider returning if D’Antoni still coached the team. Kupchak has said the Lakers are very interested in re-signing the 7-foot Spaniard, one of the top available free agents.
“There would have to be significant changes,” Gasol wrote in Spanish on his personal blog recently. “I’ve never concealed the fact that D’Antoni’s style doesn’t suit my game. Everybody knows this. I don’t know if my decision will be swayed by whether Mike stays or leaves. Obviously, the coach is a very important factor for any team.”
Gasol averaged 17.4 points, 9.7 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.5 blocks per game last season.