Updated 10:06 AM EST, Mon, Mar 01, 2021

Lakers News and Rumors: Mike D'Antoni Could Stay Head Coach Next Season

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The Los Angeles Lakers are on pace to finish with their worst record in 54 years, and the brunt of blame is expected to be thrown on head coach Mike D'Antoni.

But while most executives are convinced that D'Antoni will be fired after the season, Bleacher Report's NBA insider Kevin Ding reported that D'Antoni will likely stay with the team next season.

Sources indicated that the Lakers are planning to keep D'Antoni despite the growing call for coaching changes—both from fans and disgruntled players.

"D'Antoni has one more guaranteed season left on his Lakers contract, and the club is leaning toward retaining him despite some privately disgruntled players and massive public disdain. It's not clear which way the organization will go with him," Ding wrote.

D'Antoni has not received support from the team's superstars Pau Gasol and Kobe Bryant, who both had their run-ins with the coach.

Bryant, who is calling for major changes in the offseason to turn the Lakers into a title contender again, recently said that he is not sure whether or not D'Antoni will return to the team next season.

Veteran center Chris Kaman also expressed disappointment recently over the lack of consistent playing time, saying that he is having the worst season in his 11-year NBA career.

But in a recent interview with Ding, Kaman had a sudden change of tune, saying that he believes D'Antoni is not intentionally hurting the confidence of his players.

"He's not trying to hurt anybody," Kaman said. "He's not purposefully doing anything negatively. I think he's just trying to do the best he can with what we've got."

Kaman also added that it has not been an easy year for both the players and the coaching staff, considering the fact that the Lakers have been hit by a multitude of injuries this season.

"With all the injuries we've had and all the different things we've had to go through, I think it's no easy task for a coach," Kaman said. "Especially with the Lakers. This is a first-rate organization, and they do things better than most. They're used to winning, and it's a lot of pressure. And all these injuries didn't make it any easier for him."

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