A recent report suggested that Kobe Bryant wants Mike D’Antoni out as Lakers coach, but Bryant didn’t quite put it that way in a radio interview Wednesday. He still said he’s not sure if D’Antoni deserves to return as coach next season, and another Lakers figure is similarly reticent to make that sort of statement, as we note in a look at the latest on the purple-and-gold:
- Mitch Kupchak stopped short of saying that D’Antoni should remain coach of the Lakers, but the GM nonetheless backed the sideline boss in an interview with Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News. “I don’t want to get into that with those kind of questions,” Kupchak said. “He’s done a great job and dealt with a year last year when he was here part-time and a ridiculous amount of injuries this year.”
- Kupchak told Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com that he never spoke at length with Phil Jackson during the Zen Master’s negotiations to join the Knicks, and Kupchak characterized the New York job as “too good to be true and too good to pass up” for Jackson. Earlier today, we heard that the Lakers initially thought Jackson would merely be taking a consulting gig with the Knicks.
- Xavier Henry, a free agent at season’s end, is playing through pain to solidify his value as an NBA player after his early-season breakthrough, as McMenamin details in separate piece.