D'Antoni leaves Lakers after two troubled seasons

Thu May 1, 2014 12:40am EDT
 
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By Jahmal Corner

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Mike D'Antoni has resigned as head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, ending an unhappy two-season tenure with the struggling NBA franchise.

The 62-year-old still had a year to run on his $12 million three-year contract but the team announced on Tuesday that he had decided to step down.

D'Antoni joined the Lakers in November, 2012 after Mike Brown was fired following just 71 games in charge. Under D'Antoni's guidance, the Lakers compiled a 67-87 record.

"Given the circumstances, I don't know that anybody could have done a better job than Mike did the past two seasons," Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak said in a statement.

"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."

The Lakers limped into the playoffs in D'Antoni's first year in charge but finished the 2013-14 season with a dismal 27-55 record, the worst 82-game return in team history.

There had been growing speculation about his position with the fading team and his departure was greeted warmly by one of his more outspoken and high-profile critics.

"Happy days are here again. Mike D'Antoni resigns as Lakers coach. I couldn't be happier," Lakers great Magic Johnson tweeted.   Continued...

 
Nov 12, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni reacts in the first half against the New Orleans Pelicans at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports