The Los Angeles Lakers may be located in the center of the film world but that doesn’t mean they steer clear of cinematic style drama. While the team has just endured one of its most embarrassing seasons to date, the drama continued into the offseason as head coach mike D’Antoni walked away from the team this week over not having his contract guaranteed for two more seasons.
But according to New York Daily News reporter Mitch Lawrence, there was another reason D’Antoni walked away from the Lakers and it had less to do with how many years he’d be with the team as it did with how many years Pau Gasol would be there and how disliked he was by Kobe Bryant.
Mike D’Antoni knew he had to quit the Lakers even before he went through the motions of asking that his fourth season, in 2015-16, be picked up by the team. As he confided to an old friend the other day, “I know that Kobe and Pau don’t want to play for me.”
We knew things were bad in Los Angeles and that both Kobe and Gasol had a dislike of D’Antoni — one that went both ways, to be fair — and it’s not that surprising that it ended up costing him his job. He officially left voluntarily but unofficially, we know can see who pushed him out.