Los Angeles • Los Angeles Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni resigned Wednesday after less than two seasons on the job.
Team spokesman John Black confirmed D’Antoni’s resignation, ending the brief tenure of the Lakers’ fourth head coach in less than three years. D’Antoni went 67-87 after taking over the Lakers early in the 2012-13 season. He replaced the fired Mike Brown, who lasted just 71 games after replacing 11-time NBA champion coach Phil Jackson in 2011.
The injury-plagued Lakers were 27-55 this season, their worst campaign in more than 50 years and the second-worst winning percentage in franchise history.
With Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash and Pau Gasol sitting out large chunks of the season while the Lakers lost an NBA-worst 319 man-games to injuries, the 16-time NBA champion franchise missed the playoffs for the first time in nine seasons and only the third time in 38 years.
“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. “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 62-year-old D’Antoni had one year left on his contract, but wanted the Lakers to pick up his option year for 2015-16 to have any chance of success. The Lakers apparently refused, leading to D’Antoni’s resignation.
Sterling saga draws viewers to Clippers series • The Donald Sterling saga is drawing many more viewers to the Los Angeles Clippers’ NBA playoff series against the Golden State Warriors.
Sunday’s Game 4 was the first time the teams took the court after a recording of the Clippers owner’s racist comments surfaced a day earlier. It drew 6.5 million viewers on ABC, up a whopping 48 percent from the 4.4 million who watched Game 1 on the network just over a week prior.
McRoberts has toe surgery • Charlotte Bobcats power forward Josh McRoberts had surgery Wednesday to remove bone spurs from his left big toe.
The surgery was performed foot specialist Dr. Bob Anderson.
The Bobcats say McRoberts will not be allowed to do any basketball activities for at least four weeks.
Clippers’ Crawford is NBA’s top 6th man • Clippers guard Jamal Crawford will be named the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year for the second time in his career, a league official with knowledge of the award said.
Crawford was the Clippers’ third-leading scorer and the NBA’s top-scoring reserve with 18.6 points per game. He added 3.2 assists and 2.3 rebounds per game.