Despite the worst NBA season in their storied franchise’s history, the Los Angeles Lakers will not look to make a change at the head coach position for the 2014-15 NBA season. Per the Orange County Register, the Lakers are fully expected to retain current head coach Mike D’Antoni going into next season.
D’Antoni and the Lakers struggled to a franchise worst 27-55 record during the 2013-14 NBA season, disappointing their home crowd with a pitiful 14-27 mark at the Staples Center. Los Angeles was even worse on the road with just a 13-28 record, while they couldn’t hold their own in the tough Western Conference, going just 15-37.
Los Angeles keeping D’Antoni is a mild surprise at first glance considering their awful season, but the Lakers endured countless obstacles – most of which cannot be blamed on D’Antoni. In fact, Los Angeles players combined to miss a ridiculous 319 games this past season, while superstar guard Kobe Bryant failed to effectively return from an Achilles injury. The Black Mamba played just six games before sustaining a knee injury and being shelved for the remainder of the year.
Bryant wasn’t the only big name to bite the dust, either. Star point guard Steve Nash, who turned 40 during the season, dealt with numerous ailments that limited him to just 15 games. Big man Pau Gasol also had a tough time despite posting solid numbers across the board, finishing the season with a bout with vertigo.
While D’Antoni is expected to remain with the team, it’s still worth noting that the Lakers’ brass hasn’t officially sat down with him and discussed his role with the team heading into the 2014-15 season. It wouldn’t be out of the question for D’Antoni’s job to appear safe for now, but then ultimately be in question sometime in the summer.
Los Angeles has very few players under contract for the upcoming season and will be facing an uphill battle to get back to competing at a high level on a consistent basis. At least for now, it looks like L.A. is content in allowing D’Antoni to build a competitive roster in his own image and seeing how it unfolds.