Kobe Bryant Didn’t Care About Mike D’Antoni Leaving, Wants Input on Next Coach

After head coach Mike D’Antoni resigned following a dismal 27-55 regular season, the Los Angeles Lakers will once again be tasked with hiring a new man to patrol the sideline. Star shooting guard Kobe Bryant wants to be in the loop when that decision is made.

In an interview Thursday on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live (h/t Sporting News’ Sean Deveney), Kimmel asked the future Hall of Famer if management had sought his input with regard to the coaching situation.

“On the last two they didn’t,” Bryant said, referencing hires of Mike Brown (2011) and D’Antoni (2012). “On the third one, I hope they do.”

Bryant managed to play in just six games during the 2013-14 season. His recovery from an Achilles tear suffered last April, and a fractured lateral tibial plateau he sustained Dec. 17, ensured he’d watch the vast majority of the campaign in street clothes.

But what exactly was Bryant’s reaction when the organization severed ties with D’Antoni? After all, Deveney reported in March that Bryant had “no interest” in playing for the offensive-minded coach next season.

“Honestly, I didn’t care,” Bryant told Kimmel (h/t ESPN Los Angeles’ Dave McMenamin).

“Mike was dealt a really bad hand in dealing with all the injuries that he had here. This is a tough place, man. If you’re not winning, you’re not going to survive, man," he said.

Of course, even when coaches are winning—Mark Jackson, Lionel Hollins, George Karl—job security is never a guarantee.

Bryant’s frustrations are clearly at an all-time high. When asked what it was like to watch the Lakers' struggles, Bryant said, “I’d rather stay at home and eat paint chips.”

Tell us how you really feel, Mamba.

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