Lakers News: Mike D’Antoni Resignation Will Aid Los Angeles’ Rebuilding Effort

If the Los Angeles Lakers are going to return to the NBA playoffs in the 2014-15 season, they will do so with a new coach on the sidelines.

Mike D’Antoni officially stepped down after Los Angeles did not pick up the second year of his contract last week. D’Antoni reportedly asked the squad to pick up the team option on the fourth year of his deal because he only had one year remaining on his deal. The Lakers had a $4 million team option for 2015-16.

General manager Mitch Kupchak issued a statement, via Ramona Shelburne of ESPN Los Angeles:

Given the circumstances, I don't know that anybody could have done a better job than Mike did the past two seasons. 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.

It was time for Los Angeles to rebuild, and the best way to do that was by going in a different direction. 

Los Angeles finished 27-55 this year, which was the worst record in franchise history in an 82-game campaign and the lowest win total since the squad played in Minneapolis. It was also the second-worst winning percentage in Lakers history.

Granted, much of that had to do with the unfortunate injuries that crippled the team, including the one that cost superstar Kobe Bryant the majority of his season. Still, it’s hard to ignore D’Antoni’s 67-87 record since taking over the team, and Jeremy Lundblad of ESPN Boston made it seem even worse when he put it in historical perspective:

The Lakers are too proud of an organization with a rich history of winning to string together losing seasons like this.

Their defense and rebounding were simply atrocious under D’Antoni, as they finished 29th in the NBA in points allowed per game this year at 109.2 and 25th in total rebounds per game ...

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