Bryant felt sorry for former coach dealing with so many injuries.
Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant has revealed that he “didn’t care” about former coach Mike D’Antoni’s resignation but wants input on the next appointment.
D’Antoni resigned from his position earlier this month after a tumultuous season in which he was forced to deal with crippling injuries to key players which ultimately saw the Lakers end the season with a 27-55 record.
While Pau Gasol was publicly vocal in his displeasure with how his former coach was utilising him last season, Bryant is just the latest name to be added to the growing group of players, both active and former, who have agreed with the decision.
Magic Johnson perhaps lacked a little class in taking to Twitter to reveal his delight at the news that D’Antoni had decided to step down, but while Bryant reveals that he wasn’t too bothered by the decision, he did feel sorry for the former Phoenix Suns coach.
“Honestly I didn’t care,” Bryant said Thursday during a guest appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” when asked by Kimmel if he was “happy” that D’Antoni accepted a buyout of close to $2 million for next season rather than come back to coach the team.
“Mike was dealt a really bad hand in dealing with all the injuries that he had here,” Bryant said. “This is a tough place, man. If you’re not winning, you’re not going to survive, man.”
Further, Bryant revealed that he wants to have input in the Lakers’ next coaching move, although general manager Mitch Kupchak has previously suggested that that will not happen.
Nevertheless, by handing their veteran star a $48.5m extension they have arguably given him the authority to speak his mind as the leader of the locker room, and he will undoubtedly find a way to share his views moving forward.