Mike D’Antonio could have used Kobe Bryant on the court this season. Kobe Bryant can’t conceive of Mike D’Antonio on the bench next season.
Bryant reportedly has “no interest” in playing for Mike D’Antonio.
The Sporting News reports that Kobe Bryant wants his coach gone before he suits up for his nineteenth NBA season next fall. The news follows a tumultuous 24-hours for Bryant and the Lakers. The team announced that after playing just six games, Kobe Bryant would not return to the court this season. As reports surfaced that former Lakers coach Phil Jackson had reached a front-office deal with the New York Knicks, Magic Johnson and Bryant criticized the organization. The Lakers have struggled through age and injuries this season. They have compiled a 22-42 record.
Should Bryant get his way, it wouldn’t be the first time a Lakers star engineered the removal of his coach. During the 1981-82 season, Magic Johnson demanded a trade because of frustrations over head coach Paul Westhead. Jerry Buss obliged, naming Pat Riley as coach after several bizarre gaffes that included a failed attempt to appoint Jerry West as coach at an awkward press conference. Riley led the Lakers to the NBA championship that season.