Los Angeles Lakers: Five best candidates to replace Mike D'Antoni

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January 4, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers head coach Mike D’Antoni speaks to shooting guard Kobe Bryant (24) during a stoppage in play against the Los Angeles Clippers during the second half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

After the Los Angeles Lakers acquired center Dwight Howard from the Orlando Magic and point guard Steve Nash from the Phoenix Suns in the 2012 offseason, the expectation was nothing less than a championship.

The Lakers fired head coach Mike Brown after the team got off to a slow start. After much speculation and several rumors involving former Lakers’ coach Phil Jackson, who led the Lakers to five championships, the Lakers settled on Mike D’Antoni as their next head coach.

Kobe Bryant was injured and missed the end of the 20-122013 season, including the playoffs, which helped result in a first round exit at the hands of the eventual Western Conference Champion San Antonio Spurs.

In the offseason, the Lakers lost Howard to the Houston Rockets in free agency. During the season, they suffered through an incredible amount of injuries. Kobe Bryant played in just six games while Steve Nash saw action in only 15 games.

The Lakers finished 27-55.

It seemed like D’Antoni may be given a pass considering the impossible circumstances he faced and would return to the Lakers next season, but after the Lakers refused to pick up his option for the 2015-16 season, D’Antoni resigned.

We’ll take a look at five candidates who could replace D’Antoni.

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