The Los Angeles Lakers likely will undergo several changes before the 2014-15 season, and one of them could be at head coach.
Sean Deveney of Sporting News reported Wednesday, citing sources, that Lakers guard Kobe Bryant “has ‘no interest’ in playing for (head coach) D’Antoni next season, and wants a new coach in place for the 2014-15 season.” Bryant will not return this season as he rehabs a knee injury suffered in December, but he’s expected to be ready for next year as he attempts to win a sixth NBA championship.
Lakers great Magic Johnson also tweeted his desire for former head coach Phil Jackson to return to Los Angeles. Jackson reportedly is “leaning toward” taking a front-office position with the New York Knicks.
I love Jim & Jeanie Buss, but we need Phil Jackson to be the face of our great organization, the Los Angeles Lakers.—
Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) March 12, 2014
D’Antoni has been on the hot seat all season in Los Angeles. The Lakers were 14th in the Western Conference standings entering Wednesday’s slate of games, which puts them 15.5 games out of a playoff spot. The team hasn’t missed the playoffs since the 2004-05 season.
D’Antoni took over as Lakers head coach at the beginning of last year and has an overall record of 62-74 in just under two seasons at the helm. The 62-year-old is a talented offensive tactician, but his ability to teach and coach defense is subpar. He hasn’t coached a team beyond the first round of the NBA playoffs since the 2006-07 season.