If the L.A. Lakers' desperation in the face of mounting losses and superstar discontent actually intensifies to the point that the organization decides to fire head coach Mike D'Antoni, they'll be able to provide any number of reasonable explanations. Of course, everyone will know that there's only ever one real reason to fire a coach, which is that his team simply didn't win enough games.
So if D'Antoni gets kicked to the curb, don't be swayed by the patronizing rationalizations you're likely to hear from GM Mitch Kupchak and the Buss family.
Maybe they'll talk about poor fits or injury woes. Perhaps they'll pin the decision on a stylistic disconnect or a desire to "move in a new direction."
Don't buy that stuff.
There's one way and one way only in which D'Antoni could be fired, and it's got nothing to do with the ephemeral explanations above.
If the Lakers' coach gets his walking papers, it'll be because he didn't win.
Sorry if that's anticlimactic, but that's all there is to it.
Of course, there are a multitude of ways to lose games, so technically, there are plenty of routes to the unemployment line for D'Antoni. So far, he's done a pretty decent job of finding new methods of failure, but there are still loads of novel means he has yet to discover.
Laker fans have been drowning their sorrows for a quarter of the season, so what follows shouldn't necessarily change the mood in Hollywood. Prepare for a pint of reality and shot of pessimism because there are a whole bunch of different ways Mike D'Antoni could be fired.
Note: All stats accurate through games played Dec. 12