Lakers Rumors: Latest Buzz on Mike D'Antoni, Pau Gasol and More from LA

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistNovember 21, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 18:  Los Angeles Lakers head coach Mike D'Antoni addresses the media prior to the start of the game against the Houston Rockets at Staples Center on November 18, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers are far more interesting when there is chaos and panic running around the front office, and with the team on the court. Since there is always news and speculation coming out of Hollywood, we have plenty to talk about. 

We had to overreact when they started out 1-4 and fired Mike Brown. We had to overreact when they hired Mike D'Antoni—or more appropriately, didn't hire Phil Jackson. We have to panic when one thing goes wrong, even though the NBA season is a marathon, not a sprint. 

Patience is a virtue that would benefit everyone associated with the Lakers. While you try to stop laughing at that thought, here are the latest rumors coming out of Los Angeles. 


Mike D'Antoni Tried to Make Nice With Fans

It has been more than a week since the Lakers hired Mike D'Antoni as head coach, though he didn't make his debut until Tuesday night due to knee surgery, but he is trying to do all he can to get in good with the Lakers crowd. 

According to ESPN's Ric Bucher, D'Antoni actually tried to hire Kurt Rambis as an assistant on his staff. 

That was before Rambis torched D'Antoni in his role as an ESPN analyst for not developing bigs or essentially being the right guy to bolster LAL's defense. D'Antoni is a nice guy, but I don't know if he's nice enough to ignore all that.

You can appreciate D'Antoni trying to do what he can to ease the pain of not being Phil Jackson—he should not be thinking of making hires based on his own system, instead of what will get the fans in his corner. 

Lakers fans don't care who is on the bench as long as the team is winning. D'Antoni needs to win a championship before anyone will embrace him with open arms. 


Pau Gasol-For-Josh Smith Not Likely...For Now

Even though it is still too early to get deep into trade talk for teams, that isn't stopping the Lakers from entertaining the idea of adding Atlanta's Josh Smith if/when he becomes available. 

According to Marc Stein of ESPN, the Lakers could engage in talks with the Hawks revolving around Pau Gasol. 

Sources say that the Hawks, at present, have no interest in parting with Josh Smith and Kyle Korver even if the Lakers were willing to surrender Gasol. Or Smith and lesser parts for Gasol.

The Lakers are in a situation where they need to figure out how well the pieces they have work before they try to make any rash decisions. 

Gasol is a very valuable asset to have if the Lakers want to move him, but two weeks into the season is hardly the time to be thinking about such rash decisions. 


Gilbert Arenas Was On LA's Radar

The Lakers' lack of depth on the bench is going to be a problem all season. One solution to the problem could have been Gilbert Arenas, though the former point guard is said to be happy playing in China.

Arenas said in an interview with (via that the Lakers did contact him but he wasn't interested. 

When I played for the Wizards, Eddie Jordan was my coach. He's Lakers' assistant coach right now, we talk to each other a lot. He told me the Lakers were interested in me. I told him I'd like to try in China. Maybe after I play well in CBA, I'll consider (the NBA).

Credit Arenas for doing something smart. He needs to reinvent himself and his career if he wants a shot at sustaining an NBA career again. He could have taken a cheap deal right now, with little hope of lasting in Los Angeles until the end of the season. 

Instead, Arenas did what was in his best interest. There is nothing wrong with that, even though it is hard for a lot of athletes to park their egos.