Mike D’Antoni OUT As Lakers Coach

Mike D’Antoni has resigned as coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, the team announced Wednesday night.

Mike D'Antoni

Mike D’Antoni coached the Lakers to a 27-55 record this season, the worst 82-game mark in franchise history.

“Given the circumstances, I don’t know that anybody could have done a better job than Mike did the past two seasons,” Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said in a statement. “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.” source

Magic Johnson Urges Lakers to Trade

Carmelo Anthony may not be the only one who gets a new address if Lakers brass have anything to say about it.

The Lakers, for the first time this season, entertained the “T” word, as in trade. Rumblings of a shakeup began last month when Lakers great Jerry West attributed the team’s lack of defense on their age. Following that loss, Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak admitted that the Lakers would be entertaining trades. Tuesday, Magic Johnson not only echoed those statements, but suggested that a trade was needed to revitalize the the current NBA champions.

“I think we have to,” Johnson said. “We have to do something. The Lakers are not responding and two things showed me that — the Miami Heat Christmas game and then the Boston Celtics game [on Sunday]. When you don’t get up for your two biggest games during the season and you have flat performances, then you have to start looking at trade possibilities to improve the team and bring some energy to the team and bring some new life to the team.” Johnson made the comments following an announcement of naming rights to a football stadium that the former Laker co-owner is attempting to get approved.

With the trade deadline fast approaching, the Lakers are clearly at an organizational crossroads in a season where opponents both in and out of the conference have made significant upgrades. Lethargic play, weak defense and a humiliating 109-96 defeat to the Boston Celtics highlighted the Lakers deficiencies. Despite a record of 33-17, the team remains 7 and a half games back of the Western Conference leading San Antonio Spurs.

No one on the team is untouchable, save for Kobe Bryant due to his no-trade clause. However, the name to garner the most attention should be center Andrew Bynum. The oft-injured center has been a target of acquisition in the past. Although he has underachieved due to his sometimes questionable play and annual injuries, teams are nonetheless enamored with the 23 year-old’s upside.