Can Mike D’Antoni Weather Another Perfect Storm This Season?

The perfect storm for another disastrous season is beginning to shape up. You can sense it, you can feel it in the winds of change.

You can smile at the run-and-gun wins and blink away the losses, but the clouds are still rolling in.

And if you somehow think Los Angeles Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni is not standing on a fragile spit of shifting sand, then you’re in a state of wishful denial.

The past few years have brought a constant specter of change—new coaches, new supporting players and temporary stars, including the one-year Dwight Howard experiment.

This current season brought the most transient of Purple and Gold rosters yet—an amalgamation of one-year minimum-salary players who were asked to first stand in for, and then meld with, a superstar on the mend in Kobe Bryant.

And then, stand in again. The face of the franchise had been back for just six games when news came down that a hyperextended knee was, in fact, a fracture at the top of his left shin, directly below his knee.

It would be tempting to say this is the capper on a slew of other unwelcome events, but if last season proved anything, it’s that things can indeed get worse. 

Here then is a handy recap of this season's most recent woes:

First, all three Lakers point guards went down with injuries—Jordan Farmar with a hamstring, Steve Blake with a torn-up elbow and Steve Nash with a chronically disintegrating body. The latest on D’Antoni’s favorite ball-handler ever is that he can walk, but he can’t run.

With all three logical options exhausted, Bryant had been pressed into running the point. That is until the latest left-limb-fail.

The team has also had to deal with a recurring soap opera from last season—Pau Gasol’s conflict with a head coach who's never won a ring but somehow managed ...

About the Author