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Mike D'Antoni resigns as Lakers coach

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The Los Angeles Lakers will have a new head coach next season.

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Christian Petersen

Mike D'Antoni resigned as head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday night, the Lakers announced, confirming an earlier report by ESPN. D'Antoni reportedly wanted his option picked up for the 2015-16 season, and walked away when the franchise refused to make that commitment.The decision comes just four days after an Orange County Register report said D'Antoni would return to the Lakers for his third season on the bench.

D'Antoni's decision to walk away from the Lakers appears like a mutual one. Los Angeles was reportedly hoping for a "peaceful" breakup after the Lakers finished the season at 27-55, the sixth-worst record in the NBA. D'Antoni's future in Los Angeles looked ominous for most of the second half of the season as losses piled up and he continued to be at odds with veteran players such as Pau Gasol. One report in March said Kobe Bryant had no intentions of playing for D'Antoni next season.

Bryant's inability to stay on the floor was just one of the Lakers' many problems this past season. Bryant played six games as he recovered from a torn Achilles. He made his comeback in December, but quickly suffered a lateral tibial plateau fracture in his left knee.

The Lakers find themselves at a crossroads as they enter the offseason after missing the playoffs for just the second time in 20 years. Los Angeles could have as much as $28.2 million in cap room, but face an uncertain future with Bryant as the 35-year-old enters the first season of a two-year, $48.5 million contract.

Update: Magic Johnson is not upset about it.


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