Mike D'Antoni Rumors
May 23 at 2:43pm CST By Michael Pina
THURSDAY, 2:43pm: Like D'Antoni, 2012 Team USA assistant Nate McMillan also won't return to Mike Krzyzewski's staff for the 2016 games in Rio, tweets Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports.
When we first heard word that Coach K would be returning to coach Team USA for the '16 Olympics, Pete Thamel of SI.com noted that Jim Boeheim had said he was likely to remain on the coaching staff, but that not all of Krzyzewski's assistants would be back. With D'Antoni and McMillan out of the mix, the team figures to be in need of at least a couple new coaches.
WEDNESDAY, 6:04pm: Lakers head coach Mike D'Antoni will not return to his role as assistant coach of the United States men's basketball team for the 2016 Summer Olympics, according to the New York Post's Marc Berman.
D'Antoni chose to discontinue his role due to the four-year commitment, and how much of a strain it takes on his family life. He'd been with the team since 2006.
May 23 at 11:03am CST By Luke Adams
With Dwight Howard's free agency less than six weeks away, the All-Star center has been making headlines lately, with one report suggesting he was intrigued by the Rockets and Mavericks, while another indicated he expressed displeasure and frustration with head coach Mike D'Antoni to Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak.
Kupchak himself spoke to Mark Medina of InsideSoCal.com about the latest reports on Howard, the big man's free agency, and a few other Lakers-related topics. Here are the highlights from the Q&A with the Lakers GM:
On the report that Howard voiced his displeasure with D'Antoni:
"Criticism of a coach did not come up [in Howard's exit meeting]. Our coach did not come up. In
terms of the way the season went and our talent, group and players and
how they think in general, I would venture to say most of our players
felt this was a frustrating season and that they didn’t get to show
their talents as much as they would have liked to.... Pau [Gasol], Steve Nash and everybody felt the season didn’t go the way they
wanted to. I think in general they all felt that there are ways to
utilize their talent better going forward. That would include Dwight in
On Howard's relationship with D'Antoni:
"I don’t want to start nitpicking. There are 13 guys on a team. The
eight guys who don’t start don’t like the coach and the five who do
start, there are usually two or three that aren’t happy either for one
reason or another. I would venture to say at one point during the season
for every player, they have a problem with the coach.
But being around as long I’ve been around, it doesn’t bother me when I
hear at some point a player didn’t see eye to eye with a coach. Players
don’t have to like coaches. They just have to play hard. In L.A., our
coaches get evaluated on wins and losses and not whether our players
like them or don’t like them. It doesn’t matter."
On Howard's free agency:
"A player a has a right to be a free agent. It bothers me that there seems
to be some media attention and criticism early in the process about
Dwight and the coach and Dwight and free agency. Don't get me wrong. The
sooner he makes his mind up, the better for everybody. That's my take
on it. But he can't sign until July 10th anyway. I told him when he first
got here, 'I'm not going to bug you. I believe this is the place for
you. When you make your mind up, let me know.'"
On whether he's still confident that Howard will re-sign:
I’m optimistic.... We can’t get outbid. The city is a rabid
Laker city. It extends from San Diego to Santa Barbara. When you’ve
traveled with us, when you go to arenas on the road, there are three or four thousand Lakers fans in every arena. Our following is huge. The loyalty of
the fans is huge. Players love the lifestyle, like a lot of people do to
live in Southern California."
On whether the Lakers have a contigency plan if Howard signs elsewhere:
"That’s what we do. We plan years in advance. That’s what we have to do.
Coaches go day to day. Management has to look a year, two or three down
May 21 at 3:23pm CST By Luke Adams
We received word earlier this afternoon that head coach Vinny Del Negro will not be retained by the Clippers, and Ken Berger of CBSSports.com says (via Twitter) that one of the primary reasons for the decision was the fact that Chris Paul wasn't a fan of Del Negro. According to Berger (via Twitter), the star point guard didn't back the coach to management at season's end.
Here are a few more afternoon rumblings out of the Western Conference:
- Another Los Angeles free-agent-to-be, Dwight Howard, apparently isn't a fan of his head coach either -- Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com reports that Howard voiced some displeasure and frustration with Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni in a meeting with GM Mitch Kupchak at season's end. However, McMenamin notes that the relationship between D12 and D'Antoni isn't irreparable, and former Howard coach Stan Van Gundy told David Baumann of Sports Talk Florida (Twitter link) today that he wasn't giving much credence to the story.
- A source tells Jimmy Smith of the New Orleans Times-Picayune (Twitter link) that there's "no merit" to trade rumors involving Eric Gordon.
- No teams have contacted the Grizzlies to ask permission to speak to head coach Lionel Hollins yet, tweets Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial-Appeal.
- According to Ric Bucher of 95.7 The Game (Sulia link), the fact that the Sacramento arena plan involves a significant public subsidy wasn't insignificant when the league voted on the Kings' relocation bid.
May 4 at 6:31pm CST By Ryan Raroque
The winds of change appear to be traveling in the direction of Los Angeles this summer, especially after the conclusion of a disappointing injury-riddled season for the Lakers and a first-round playoff collapse by the Clippers. Both teams will certainly have significant decisions to make this summer as they look to regroup and come back strong in 2013-14, and coincidentally, it starts with determining the futures of their respective franchise players. We've got a few rumblings to share from each camp as we inch closer to the NBA offseason:
- When asked if Dwight Howard might try to force Mike D'Antoni out of Los Angeles, Steve Kyler of Hoopsworld (via Twitter) says that the soon-to-be free agent doesn't want to be involved in dictating the job security of the Lakers' coach. As for the player option of Jodie Meeks and the possibility of re-signing Earl Clark, Kyler points to the priority of determining Howard's future before taking care of anything else.
- Arash Markazi of ESPN Los Angeles hears that Chauncey Billups would like to return to the Clippers next season, adding that he's feeling as good as he's felt in two years: "I would love to be back here and continue to help in this process...I feel like we are getting closer. I definitely want to be a part of it and I'll be able to show everybody who I've always been with a summer of getting myself together, so hopefully it works out like that."
- Billups also says that his goal is to play two more seasons and briefly touched upon his desire to be invovled in an NBA front office instead of coaching once his playing career is over.
- Though there were hints about Grant Hill's plans to retire after this season, Markazi writes that Hill could come back for another year if he feels healthy enough. Hill is currently under contract for about $2MM for 2013-14.
- Ramona Shelburne of ESPN Los Angeles tweets that there's no truth to the rumor which suggests that Chris Paul will be leaving his agent Leon Rose for Rich Paul, who currently represents LeBron James and Clippers teammate Eric Bledsoe among others.
April 30 at 7:46pm CST By Alex Lee
Not only were they swept by the Spurs, but the Lakers lost all four games to San Antonio by double digits, culminating in Sunday's game four defeat at the Staples Center. Today was exit interview day for the Lakers in Los Angeles. Let's round up all the news coming out of those meetings here as it is reported throughout the night:
- D'Antoni expressed confidence that a full offseason with the talented Lakers squad could make a world of difference under his command, writes Trudell. The Lakers coach thought the team progressed in the second half and that their playoff hopes were largely derailed by injury.
- Like D'Antoni, Blake thinks the Lakers have the talent to win now, per Trudell. Blake thought he fit well into D'Antoni's system, but admitted that either the system or the roster would probably have to be tweaked to make it work.
- Pau Gasol acknowledged on Tuesday that he may not be back with the team next season, writes Eric Pincus of the L.A. Times. As Pincus points out, what happens with Dwight Howard in the offseason will go a long way to determining Gasol's fate in Los Angeles. If the Lakers re-sign Howard, speculation that Gasol will be traded or amnestied is sure to accelerate. Gasol did express his desire to remain a Laker.
- One Laker who seems to want both Gasol and Howard back is injured guard Kobe Bryant, writes Mark Medina of the L.A. Daily News. Bryant's torn Achilles has him unsure of his own NBA longevity, but in the short term he plans to help sell Howard on the Lakers as well as continuing to lobby for the retention of Gasol. Bryant said, “I want Pau here. It’s not a question or discussion. He gives us the best chance to win titles."
- Howard was continuously asked about his offseason plans after his exit interview, writes Lakers.com's Mike Trudell. Howard didn't hint one way or another, per Trudell, but did say that he needs to "clear his head" to think. He also expressed relief that Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak said he wouldn't pressure him into making a decision.
- Kupchak reiterated as much during his media session on Tuesday, adding that he is "hopeful" and "optimistic" that the Lakers will be able to re-sign Howard, writes Medina. Kupchak said that because of how the Lakers lost, "everything is in play" when it comes to improving the team, which includes bringing back Howard and Gasol. The Lakers GM insinuated that Howard's decision won't affect Gasol's future in Los Angeles more than that of any other of the current Lakers.
- Finally, Kupchak maintained that Mike D'Antoni will be back and dodged a question about the state of the Lakers amnesty provision. Medina writes that of the possible candidates - Bryant, Gasol, Metta World Peace and Steve Blake - only Gasol and World Peace seem to make sense as amnesty candidates. World Peace has a $7.7MM player option to consider. Kupchak said he has "no idea" if he plans to exercise it.
April 18 at 7:59am CST By Luke Adams
Although there's been speculation all season about whether or not his job is safe beyond this year, Mike D'Antoni will return to the Lakers' bench next season, according to GM Mitch Kupchak. Kupchak told Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times that D'Antoni has done a "great job" and that the team hasn't discussed the possibility of replacing him.
"I think under the circumstances, Mike did a great job. We don't
anticipate any kind of a change," Kupchak told Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com. "No training camp, all the injuries, through the end of the season he's done a great job."
Although D'Antoni started off slow in Los Angeles, he ended up leading the Lakers to a 40-32 record after taking over for Mike Brown early in the season. That .556 winning percentage was good enough to get the team in the playoffs, and was a better mark than any D'Antoni posted in New York with the Knicks.
With two years and $8MM remaining on D'Antoni's contract, and money still owed to Brown as well, bringing in a new coach for next season would be an expensive proposition for a Lakers team that already figures to be spending a ton of money on its roster, which could be well into the luxury tax.
Former Lakers coach Phil Jackson, who was the preferred candidate of many fans when the team was searching for a coach in the fall, is reportedly interested in returning to the NBA in some capacity. However, as we heard yesterday, it appears highly unlikely that a return will happen with the Lakers.
April 6 at 4:40pm CST By Chuck Myron
The Lakers held on to their half-game lead for the last playoff spot in the Western Conference with a two-point win against the Grizzlies last night, and if L.A. makes the postseason, they could get some reinforcements. Coach Mike D'Antoni revealed that Metta World Peace could be back by the end of the month, knocking two weeks off the original six-week timetable for his recovery from a left knee injury, tweets Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times. Jordan Hill tells Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News he's seeking medical clearance to return at about the same time, though D'Antoni is skeptical about that. Either way, there's reason for optimism in a season that's left Lakers fans with little of it. Here's more on the purple and gold and other news from the Pacific:
- Most signs, including the three years left on D'Antoni's contract, point to him returning to coach the Lakers next season in spite of the team's disappointing play, writes Marc Stein of ESPN.com. Stein also suggests that while Dwight Howard may have sway over D'Antoni's future if the big man threatens to sign elsewhere, Howard won't have nearly the clout that fellow soon-to-be free agent Chris Paul will wield on the Clippers' coaching situation.
- Regardless of who's in charge of the Kings next season, the "leaguewide presumption" is that neither GM Geoff Petrie nor coach Keith Smart will return, Stein adds in the same piece.
- Kendall Marshall wasn't among the 10 players I mentioned yesterday when I examined 2012 first-round picks who've seen limited action this season, but his 568 total minutes would make him the 11th player on the list. He's been seeing more action of late with the Suns, and Marshall tells Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic that he's finally starting to feel comfortable.
April 4 at 5:22pm CST By Luke Adams
Although the Lakers' short-term focus is on finishing the regular season strong and earning a playoff spot in the Western Conference, the team will face a number of questions this summer and beyond, with luxury-tax penalties set to increase starting in 2013/14. Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com spoke to a number of agents, executives, and players about the Lakers' cap situation, so let's round up the highlights:
- One general manager on free agent big man Dwight Howard: "No matter what, they have to re-sign Dwight. Even if they don't want to move forward with Dwight, you gotta
re-sign him because he's a tradable asset no matter what he makes.... You can always move him, but if you don't have him under your
control, then you've got nothing."
- The general belief is that if Howard is re-signed, the Lakers will look to move Pau Gasol, but there are mixed opinions on how much trade value he would have, and how strong a package the Lakers could acquire. Said one GM: "He'll have value as a super expiring contract. There are 12 teams with $12MM or more in [cap
space] this summer. Multiple teams will be open to doing an uneven deal
to acquire him.... They would probably have to take back a multiyear deal at a
lower number. Say, somebody with two or three years left at 6 million a
year. They can't incentivize a deal because they have no assets -- no
[draft] picks and no young players of value."
- Gasol could also be amnestied, which would significantly lessen the Lakers' tax burden, but it would be a purely financial move rather than a basketball one. Rival GMs are skeptical that the team would make such a move in what could be Kobe Bryant's last year.
- Metta World Peace is a more likely amnesty candidate, though if he decides to opt out of the final year of his deal, Steve Blake could be amnestied as well. World Peace told NBA.com last week that he'd consider declining his '13/14 option, and the knee surgery he underwent since then hasn't changed that stance, according to Shelburne.
- One Lakers player said he believes World Peace would like to secure a two- or three-year contract rather than exercising his one-year player option.
- There were also varying opinions among GMs on coach Mike D'Antoni's future with the Lakers. One GM's thoughts: "I like Mike D'Antoni, but if I was them, that's the move I'd make (letting him go). You can talk about amnestying players and
trades, but players are still assets. Coaches are different."
March 30 at 10:29pm CST By Ryan Raroque
Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com hears more and more that the Maloof brothers could keep the Kings rather than sell the team to the Sacramento-led group if the NBA declines the Seattle bid, adding that it's not a total longshot at this point. Howard-Cooper also says that whether the possibility could drag on into this summer or next season, the Maloofs may step back and re-assess their options (All Twitter links). Interestingly enough, Aaron Bruski of USA Today tweeted that league sources "have maintained without any equivocation that the Maloofs will not own an NBA franchise next season."
We've got more to share out of the Western Conference tonight:
- Howard-Cooper reiterates that he's not saying the above scenario will happen, but it's still a possibility. He also clarifies that the Maloofs keeping the Kings would be a way for them to start a bidding war and evaluate at the type of offers they can receive (Twitter links).
- Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle says that Brandon Rush plans to do some light running and jumping in three weeks, and that the Warriors guard/forward should be ready by the start of the 2013-14 training camp (Twitter links).
- Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld tweets that he thinks Mike D'Antoni's job is safe for next season at least, being that the Lakers coach is still owed a lot of money and hasn't had a healthy roster.
- Ray Richardson of the Pioneer Press writes that Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman has a tough challenge of trying to evaluate upcoming free agents Mickael Gelabale and Chris Johnson without enough playing time to find for them.
March 28 at 1:02pm CST By Luke Adams
The race for the final playoff spot(s) in the Western Conference will continue tonight, when the Lakers play the Bucks in Milwaukee and the Mavericks host the Pacers in Dallas. As we look forward to those games, let's round up a few Thursday items out of the conference....
- Tony Allen is headed for unrestricted free agency this summer, and at least one Eastern Conference general manager thinks Allen will receive a modest raise. "Three years at $4MM per year sounds right," the GM tells
Chris Mannix of SI.com. "He adds instant toughness and a defensive mentality to your team. He's a
leader on the floor and he isn't going to back down from anyone. I
think everyone in the league would love to have him." The Grizzlies have no interest in approaching luxury-tax territory, so it's unclear if they'll be able to bring back Allen.
- Chris Sheridan of SheridanHoops.com believes that both Los Angeles head coaches, Mike D'Antoni and Vinny Del Negro, could be on the outs with the Lakers and Clippers respectively if they don't finish the season strong.
- With Metta World Peace expected to miss six weeks after undergoing surgery on his left knee, Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News wonders if the veteran forward has played his last game with the Lakers.
- Terrel Harris' new deal with the Hornets includes an second year that will become guaranteed if Harris makes the team's 2013/14 roster, reports Sam Amick of USA Today.
- Nuggets coach George Karl tells Benjamin Hochman of the Denver Post that he thinks Gregg Popovich would be interested in the Team USA head coaching position, and that Popovich would be a great choice for the job.