Kobe Bryant Wants Mike D’Antoni Fired

Kobe Bryant has “no interest” in playing for Mike D’Antoni next season, and the Lakers star wants the team to change coaches, sources tell Sean Deveney of The Sporting News. Bryant took several shots at Lakers management during a press conference today, but apparently his greatest frustration is with D’Antoni, whose contract runs through 2014/15. Bryant said today that he can’t understand why the Lakers haven’t brought former coach and soon-to-be Knicks executive Phil Jackson back to the franchise.

Bryant would like to see the Lakers re-sign Pau Gasol, who’s openly feuded with D’Antoni at times since the coach came aboard early last season. D’Antoni also never clicked with Carmelo Anthony when they were together with the Knicks, as Deveney points out, and Bryant wants the team to make significant improvements in the offseason, when Anthony figures to be the best free agent available.

The Lakers have long appeared deferential to Bryant, bidding against themselves when they granted him a $48.5MM extension in November. Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com wrote recently that D’Antoni didn’t seem to have much of a future in L.A., and D’Antoni met last week with GM Mitch Kupchak to discuss the state of the team after a blowout loss to the Clippers. Bryant’s most recent comments suggest he doesn’t exactly see eye-to-eye with the team’s brass, but his wishes are nonetheless an ominous sign for D’Antoni, who’s gone 62-74 in his time with the Lakers.

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