Will LA Lakers, Mike D’Antoni Be Stuck with One Another for One More Season?

Whenever a new coach enters, a wave of hope rushes right through that door with him.

The Los Angeles Lakers could use that kind of infusion, but they are also prepared to live without it.

Marshall University felt the upsurge Friday with the introduction of Dan D’Antoni as its new head basketball coach. Coming off a season with 22 losses, tied for most in school history, Marshall needed something fresh—ideally its biggest-name son, Mike D’Antoni, to come play savior.

Mike was legitimately interested in returning to his alma mater, according to the Charleston Daily Mail’s Chuck McGill, seemingly very close to the Marshall athletic director who spent four days with Mike in Los Angeles courting him. McGill wrote: “If the Lakers made a move, Hamrick was ready to pounce and (Mike) D’Antoni was ready to slip on that kelly green jacket once and for all. ... D’Antoni had to let Hamrick know the dream was not going to come to fruition.”

Hamrick then gave the job to another past Marshall great, Mike’s big brother, Dan, the Lakers assistant coach who had been hanging around those four days of Marshall courting Mike in LA.

Is that the real story? That Mike D’Antoni would almost rather coach the Marshall Thundering Herd in Conference USA but is stuck with NBA royalty in the Los Angeles Lakers?

Here’s how Dan put it in a radio interview with the West Virginia MetroNews Network: “Mike is kind of stuck where he is…I shouldn’t say ‘stuck’…Mike is in contract with them, and I was the one available.”

Whether Mike is indeed stuck or truly locked in as Lakers head coach for next season remains foggy. As much as Jim Buss, Lakers executive vice president of basketball operations, has indicated privately that he isn’t sold on retaining D’Antoni, Lakers general manager Mitch K...

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