Mitch Kupchak: Mike D’Antoni will return as Lakers coach next season


Los Angeles Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said Wednesday that head coach Mike D’Antoni will be back next season, reports Mike Bresnahan of the

“Yeah, he’s back. I think he’s done a great job,” Kupchak told The Times. “There’s been no discussions otherwise.

“He’s made adjustments. He’s been flexible. He’s evaluated how he coaches as the season’s progressed. He’s listened to the players. He’s very easy to work with and we think in particular since the meeting the day of the Memphis game, yeah.”

Since taking over as the Lakers coach, D’Antoni is 40-32 and 28-12 following the team meeting he called for in Memphis in January.

D’Antoni, 61, has two more guaranteed years left on his contract with the Lakers worth $8 million. The Lakers also owe former coach Mike Brown, who was fired five games into the season, around $6 million over the next two years.

“Much has been made of the injuries, and the coaching change [in November] and no training camp, which is certainly a part of it,” Kupchak said of their up-and-down season.

“It takes a while. You’re in New York coaching and you see the Lakers once or twice a year, you don’t know the personnel. And the injury situation when he got here, Steve Nash had the broken leg. There’s just too much going on to really look at it any other way.”

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