Instead of returning as the head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, Mike D’Antoni decided to resign a few weeks ago when the team refused to pick up his future option, more or less making him a lame duck. When the news came through of the resignation, there were a lot of fans that were happy, and presumably, we all assumed that the leader of the team, Kobe Bryant, felt the same way.
For the first time on Friday, Bryant spoke publicly about the situation, and he wasted no time in getting to the point of it having essentially no effect on his life or career.
“Honestly, I didn’t care,” Bryant said Thursday during a guest appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live via ESPN LA. “Mike was dealt a really bad hand in dealing with all the injuries that he had here,” Bryant said. “This is a tough place, man. If you’re not winning, you’re not going to survive, man.”
D’antoni became the second head coaching hire in a row by the organization that just didn’t pan out, which is why Bryant is hoping they can get it right this time.
“On the last two they didn’t,” Bryant said, referring to Mike Brown and D’Antoni, who both failed to endure the length of the initial contracts they signed with the Lakers before parting ways. “On the third one, I’m hoping they do.”
It was no secret, really, that Bryant wanted nothing to do with D’Antoni being there anymore, and D’Antoni had to know that as well.
If only Phil Jackson were available…