Lakers looking to appoint replacement for D’Antoni before new season.
Los Angeles Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak insists that guard Kobe Bryant will not have an influential say in choosing their next head coach.
In a TV appearance last week, the 35-year-old hinted at the possibility of having a say in choosing the replacement for D’Antoni after he resigned from his position last month.
However, Kupchak has made it clear that that will not be the case, and that Bryant will need to focus on his leadership on the court in helping the Lakers make progress next season after a bitterly disappointing campaign this time round.
Kupchak also revealed that a decision will not be taken until after the draft lottery order is revealed on Tuesday, but it is understood that the Lakers have identified possible candidates.
“From time to time we ask his advice,” Kupchak told ESPN’s Andy Katz at the NBA draft combine Thursday in Chicago.
“He really won’t weigh in on something like this. I’m not even sure that we’ll talk to him prior to interviews. But from time to time, he is in our facility, I’ll go downstairs and I’ll talk to him about a bunch of different things.”
Kupchak insists that Bryant will play a key role next year provided that he can remain healthy, while the organisation will look to bring back a few of the younger players that impressed and add in free agency to consolidate what they already have.
Bryant signed a two-year extension with the Lakers worth $48.5m but played in just six games last season after fracturing his left knee.
The Lakers finished with the sixth worst record in the league this year at 27-55 but they have a 21.5 percent chance of landing a pick in the top three, and will hope to add another exciting piece to their roster as they go through a rebuilding process.