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Lakers now reportedly leaning toward firing Mike D'Antoni after season

The Lakers will miss the playoffs this season for the first time in six years. (Stephen Dunn/Getty Images) The Lakers will miss the playoffs this season for the first time in six years. (Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Lakers head coach Mike D'Antoni is reportedly on the hot seat again, despite reports last week that he will return to Los Angeles next season for the final year of his contract.

According to a report on Wednesday from Lakers beat reporter Dave McMenamin of ESPN Los Angeles, the Lakers are leaning toward letting the embattled coach go next year, when he is guaranteed $4 million.

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Despite reports out there that the Lakers could be leaning toward retaining Mike D’Antoni, my sources tell me that is not the case. If anything, they’re leaning toward relieving him of his coaching duties at the end of the season.

The news comes as rumors continue to swirl that John Calipari, whose Kentucky Wildcats lost on Monday to the UConn Huskies in the NCAA men's national championship, is being considered to replace D'Antoni on the Lakers bench next season.  The Lakers have denied having discussions with Calipari, saying the team hasn't even spoken with anyone in-house regarding the job, let alone outside the organization.

On Tuesday, the Lakers announced the re-signing of longtime General Manager Mitch Kupchak to a multi-year extension, approximately a week before the team wraps up its worst season in 56 years. In 1958, George Mikan stepped down as head coach of the Minneapolis Lakers, perhaps a foreshadowing of things to come for the Lakers job.

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D'Antoni has amassed a career record of 453-424 as a head coach. He went 42-30 with Los Angeles last season, his first at the helm. The Lakers are currently 25-53.
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