MONDAY 10:55pm: D’Antoni is still pushing to get his option for 2015/16 exercised but the Lakers are still resisting, a source told Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports (on Twitter).
SATURDAY, 12:23am: The team doesn’t plan on exercising D’Antoni’s 2015/16 option, according to USA Today’s Sam Amick, who suggests that the coach might walk away from the team if it doesn’t alter that stance, though it’s not clear if he would do so, Amick writes.
12:14am: The Lakers insist they’ve yet to make a decision about D’Antoni, tweets Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com. Still, the coach is pushing the team to make its choice, and he’s asked the Lakers to pick up his team option for 2015/16, Shelburne also reports (Twitter link). D’Antoni has been adamant in talking with his bosses that he needs more job security to succeed, Shelburne adds (on Twitter).
FRIDAY, 10:22pm: Lakers management has reached internal agreement to keep coach Mike D’Antoni for next season, a source tells Mark Heisler of The Orange County Register. D’Antoni hasn’t been informed of the decision yet, which comes a week after his exit interview for the season.
D’Antoni has been on shaky ground with the Lakers heading into the third and final year of his $12MM contract with Los Angeles. D’Antoni was chosen over Laker legend Phil Jackson to replace Mike Brown early in the 2012/13 season, and has gone just 67-87 in two years at the helm for one of the most storied franchises in all of sports.
Some Lakers players have voiced displeasure with how they’ve been utilized within D’Antoni’s system, including former All-Star Pau Gasol. While Gasol and Kobe Bryant have expressed their wishes that the Lakers make significant changes to return to championship form, the GM Mitch Kupchak has been adamant that basketball decisions won’t be made in reaction to player frustration.
D’Antoni’s first two seasons were both times of transition, with a single year of Dwight Howard last year and a landslide of injuries affecting the team this year. Next year could be just as tumultuous, with potential for significant roster turnover and the implementation of the franchise’s first lottery pick since their 2005 selection of Andrew Bynum.