Lakers Not Considering Dismissing D’Antoni

January 25 2013 at 1:46pm CDT By Luke Adams

Despite a 17-25 record that has them ahead of only the Kings, Hornets, and Suns in the Western Conference, the Lakers don't seem to be considering making another coaching change. Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register reports that buying out or firing Mike D'Antoni isn't currently an option for the Lakers.

The Lakers' stance comes as no surprise. If the team had entered the season with D'Antoni on the bench, he may have already been let go, but since he replaced Mike Brown in November, the odds are against another change happening so soon. The Lakers are already on the hook for Brown's remaining salary, and inked D'Antoni to a long-term deal himself, which the club would have to pay if it brought in another replacement.

Regardless of the guaranteed money still owed to D'Antoni, ESPN.com's Chris Broussard believes the club needs to let him go, replacing him with interim coach Bernie Bickerstaff, who led the team to a 4-1 record in between Brown's and D'Antoni's stints. While Broussard acknowledges that Bickerstaff probably isn't a long-term solution in L.A., he believes Bickerstaff would give the team its best chance to finish the season on a high note.

Responding to the argument that Jim Buss likely won't dismiss D'Antoni because it would mean admitting a huge mistake, Broussard points out that it would be a bigger mistake to let the season continue spiraling out of control, leading to the possibility of losing Dwight Howard this summer. According to Broussard, a few Lakers are "fed up" with D'Antoni and his system, and Kobe Bryant is the only one keeping those players from tuning out the coach.

After going 1-4 under Brown and 4-1 under Bickerstaff, the Lakers have won just 12 of D'Antoni's 32 games as head coach.

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