Sports Out West

Lakers news: Mike D’Antoni’s job safe despite struggles

Photo Credit:  Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

After the Los Angeles Lakers suffered their worst loss in franchise history in Thursday’s blowout 142-94 to the Los Angeles Clippers the organization’s management met with head coach Mike D’Antoni, according to ESPN.com.

The meeting was held by general manager Mitch Kupchak and vice president of player personnel Jim Buss to discuss if anything could be done to help the team bounce back after the loss rather make a coaching change. D’Antoni on Friday confirmed the meeting and described it as “normal.”

“We just went over stuff and said, ‘Well, we didn’t play very well,’” D’Antoni said.

D’Antoni did not provide further details about what was exactly was discussed between in the meeting.

“I don’t remember, to be honest with you,” he said. “It wasn’t anything out of the ordinary other than just talking about different performances, and that’s about it.”

D’Antoni also stated that he did talk to the team after the embarrassing loss on Thursday to the Clippers.

“We talked and tried to get guys to understand where we are and what we have to do, and they’ll respond,” D’Antoni said. “Like I said, they’re good guys. It’s not like you go out and you [overreact]. I think everybody lays an egg, and we laid an egg. We just got to push it aside and go forward.”

This season for Los Angeles has been nothing short of difficult as they currently lie in last place in the Western Conference at a record of 21-42. Entering this year, the team had aspirations for the playoffs but those hopes were quickly dashed as team suffered an array of injuries that included Steve Nash and Kobe Bryant

Nash has only played in 10 games this season due to nerve root issues in his back and left leg. Bryant has only appeared in six games this year as he suffered a fracture of the lateral tibial plateau in his left knee that came just nine days after returning from a torn left Achilles tendon that sidelined him for over eight months.  It now seems that Los Angeles may have finally have hit rock bottom as they have lost their last three games by allowing their opponent score an average of 136 points a game.

It will also not get much easier for them for the final stretch of the season as the Lakers have 14 of the 19 remaining games on the schedule against teams with a .500 record or better. This includes three games against the San Antonio Spurs, two against the Oklahoma City Thunder, and one against the Clippers just to name a few.

So with the organization’s front office holding a meeting, it may be seen as a normal check but in a season where the team is on pace to have one of the worst regular season records in franchise history it just may be a sign of things to come. It could also be just a normal occurence as the Lakers have held another closed-door meeting with  D’Antoni earlier this season after a 111-104 home loss on Dec. 29 to the lowly Philaldelphia 76ers.

With all that said, this with ultimately lead to a summer where the team will have big decisions to make in regards to roster with over $20 million in salary cap space and may possibly discuss coaching change. But with about a month and a half of the season left to play, D’Antoni’s job is safe for the time being.

Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

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Bob Garcia IV

Bob Garcia is a sports journalist from Southern California. He was a reporter for the award-winning newspaper, The Daily Sundial, at California State University, Northridge. You can follow him on Twitter, @BGarcia90.