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Mike D'Antoni Resigns as Los Angeles Lakers Coach

Apr 30 2014, 9:38pm CDT | by , in News | Latest Sports News

Mike D'Antoni Resigns as Los Angeles Lakers Coach
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Los Angeles Lakers head coach Mike D'Antoni resigned on April 30 after a 27-55 season, per multiple reports.

Mike D'Antoni has resigned as head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers. 

The Lakers issued a press release on the matter on their official website on April 30:

"Mike D'Antoni has resigned as head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, it was announced today by Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak. Although no timetable has been established, the search for a replacement will begin immediately. 

"D'Antoni, who was hired by the Lakers to replace Mike Brown on November 12, 2012, had a 67-87 record in his two seasons with the team. He previously was head coach of the Denver Nuggets, Phoenix Suns and New York Knicks, and has a career record of 455-426. 

"'Given the circumstances, I don't know that anybody could have done a better job than Mike did the past two seasons,' said Kupchak. 'On behalf of the Lakers, we thank Mike for the work ethic, professionalism and positive attitude that he brought to the team every day. We wish him the best of luck.'"

ESPN Los Angeles' Ramona Shelburne says the team did not want to pick up the second year of D'Antoni's contract, citing two sources. 

"D'Antoni stepped down after the Lakers refused to pick up the second year of his contract last week, according to two sources.

"During conversations with the team over the past two weeks, D'Antoni had asked them to pick up the team option on the fourth year of his deal, according to sources. 

"D'Antoni had one year remaining on his deal at $4 million. The Lakers held a $4 million team option on him for 2015-16. 

"Los Angeles went 27-55 this season, its first full campaign under D'Antoni. The Lakers posted the second-worst winning percentage (.329) in team history, the worst 82-game record in team history and their lowest win total since the franchise relocated from Minnesota. 

"'We've hit an insurmountable impasse and Mike will no longer be the Laker coach,' D'Antoni's agent, Warren LeGarie, told ESPNLosAngeles.com."

On April 26, USA TODAY's Sam Amick, D'Antoni didn't want to be in a lame-duck situation next season which was why he wanted the Lakers to pick up his option for the 2015-16 NBA season. 

Even back then, the team was unwilling to pick up this option, per Amick, who also says "the fact that he would like that sort of security should surprise no one who has watched these last two seasons unfold."

Amick then dwells more on D'Antoni's hesitancy to enter the 2014-15 season without any job security.

"But with (Steve) Nash enduring seemingly endless injuries since then, (Kobe) Bryant following suit this season and (Dwight) Howard leaving free agency for the Houston Rockets last summer, D'Antoni was left as the unofficial fall guy for a fan base that just endured the team's worst season (27-55) since the Lakers came to Los Angeles in 1960. 

"Even with the $4 million he would earn next season, D'Antoni clearly is hesitant to subject himself to virtual whipping-boy status yet again during what will likely be another rebuilding year." 

Lakers legend Earvin "Magic" Johnson tweeted his sentiments on April 30 in the aftermath of the D'Antoni resignation. He said,"Happy days are here again! Mike D'Antoni resigns as Lakers coach. I couldn't be happier!" 

CBS Los Angeles identifies former Lakers players Kurt Rambis and Byron Scott as potential replacements for D'Antoni. Whatever the case may be, the new head coach will be the fifth the Lakers have had since 2011 -- Phil Jackson's last year in Los Angeles. 

For more of the hottest sports news, check out Sport Balla today. 

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