The latest out of Los Angeles..
- The Lakers lost 131-102 to the Thunder last night, but bigger problems are looming for L.A., writes Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times. Kobe Bryant reportedly isn’t wild about coach Mike D’Antoni, but the Lakers are reluctant to part ways for a number of reasons. First, they think he’s a capable coach and they don’t want to be known as a franchise without coach stability. Perhaps more importantly, the club doesn’t want to pay him $4MM to not coach them after making a similar move with Mike Brown. In another interesting wrinkle, many of the club’s younger players enjoy playing in D’Antoni’s offense because their inflated scoring totals give them more value as they look ahead to their next contract.
- Pau Gasol supports Kobe’s open criticism of the Lakers, writes Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News. “I’m glad that he spoke his mind,” Gasol said. “He wants to win. He’s got two years under contract with the franchise. He wants to be in the best possible position to win. Whether you do that publicly or internally, that’s totally up to you. He spoke his mind and you have to respect him for that.” The big man reportedly isn’t a fan of D’Antoni’s either.
- On Wednesday, both Kobe and Magic Johnson made public pleas to Lakers management to hire Phil Jackson, but a Lakers source tells Frank Isola of the New York Daily News that team VP Jim Buss has little interest in bringing back the Hall of Fame coach.