Allow Steve Nash to show you the door, Mr. Mike D'Antoni.
Magic Mike has long seemed like a soon-to-be-unemployed coach walking, what with the Los Angeles Lakers chasing the Western Conference's worst record and Kobe Bryant's patience wearing half-a-spaghetti-noodle thin.
Now, the always candid, usually polite, Nash has entered the players-eat-coach fray, pointing out what many will consider obvious: Bryant and D'Antoni go together like motor oil and apple pie.
"I wouldn’t disagree," Nash told ESPN Radio’s Colin Cowherd when asked if D'Antoni and Bryant were a bad fit, via the Los Angeles Daily News' Mark Medina. "We’ve seen that. People have deduced and read between the lines and felt that way, they’re not wrong. It’s not the perfect marriage."
Should D'Antoni just clean out his office now or wait for Bryant to do it for him on April 17, one day after Los Angeles' regular season mercifully ends?
Though Nash added a lack of time together has driven a wedge between the couple's potential, the Kobe-Magic Mike merger is one destined for a Black Mamba-backed dissolution.
Speaking on The Dan Patrick Show, Bryant didn't express much faith in his head coach when asked if he's earned another year at Los Angeles' helm.
"I don’t know," he admitted. "It’s been tough on him. He’s been dealing with so many injuries. I don’t know if he’s gotten a fair shake."
Before that, Sporting News' Sean Deveney alleged that Bryant has "no interest" in playing for D'Antoni next season. Bleacher Report's Ric Bucher also revealed multiple players have been assured he won't be coaching the Lakers beyond 2013-14.
At this point, it doesn't matter whether or not D'Antoni and Bryant can coexist. The writing isn't on the wall, it's etched in crystallized stone: D'Antoni is done in Los Angeles, cooked like Mike Brown before him.
Pin yours truly to the minority. The embattled Lakers coach hasn't been given a real chance.
Last season, he was gifted a shallow team rife with egos and tasked with implementing a system unbecoming of his personnel. This season, he has an injury-addled roster brimming with no-names and stopgaps, sans Dwight Howard and Metta World Peace, and has been expected to—well, we don't really know.
If and when D'Antoni is shown the door, it's impossible to chalk his departure up to failed expectations. Phil Jackson himself couldn't win with this injury-plagued, star-deprived team.
Coaching the Lakers to 23 victories in a powerhouse-teeming Western Conference is an accomplishment worthy of faint applause. If nothing else, the Lakers have been largely fun to watch. Incredibly bad, but fun nonetheless.
"But it’s one of those situations where they haven’t had the time to decide how they feel about each other, I don’t think," Nash explained to Cowherd, via Medina.
Time is something D'Antoni doesn't have, something Bryant isn't prepared to give. The clock is ticking, the Mamba is angry and D'Antoni, imperfect as ever, has been handed a one-way ticket to Scapegoatsville for failing to rescue a team beyond saving.
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