Grading Mike D’Antoni’s Season with the Los Angeles Lakers

If coaching the Los Angeles Lakers was a college course, Mike D'Antoni would be on the verge of flunking.

In college, you usually get to come back and take the class again.  In the NBA, they show you the door and tell you to enjoy the summer.

NBA coaches are normally graded on how the team performs, how the players respond to their philosophy, and their ability to inspire the troops to work hard and get the most out of their skill set.

If one is to grade D'Antoni, it should be on his two seasons with the Lakers. He's had an opportunity to coach a team (2012-13) with championship credentials and another (this season) with young, talented players needing an opportunity to show what they can do in the NBA.

D'Antoni has failed to produce with both, the Lakers being swept out of the first round by the San Antonio Spurs in last year's playoffs and coming apart this year with their worst record since moving to Los Angeles from Minneapolis in 1960.  It marked just the sixth time the team has failed to reach the postseason since the franchise was formed in 1947.

Has Mike D'Antoni been unfairly criticized for leading what is arguably the worst Lakers team in franchise history? Certainly, you can't really fault him for the plethora of injuries that have decimated the Lakers the past two years?

Or, can you?  Does the buck/ball stop with D'Antoni or should the Lakers consider bringing back the coach who once led the Phoenix Suns to three Pacific Division titles and a .650 winning percentage over one five-year span?

In spite of their disastrous season, the Lakers do have reasons to keep D'Antoni around another year.  Management is seriously considering that option, according to Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report. 

D’Antoni has one more guaranteed season left on his Lakers contract, and the club is leaning toward retaining him despite some privately disgruntle...

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