Mitch Kupchak, general manager of the Los Angeles Lakers, last night gave under-fire head coach Mike D’Antoni the dreaded vote of confidence, prior to his franchise’s most recent loss at the hands of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Lakers threatened to surprise their superior opposition for the best part of 50 minutes before capitulating late on to ensure that their miserable losing streak continued at the Staples Center.
Heading into the All-Star break D’Antoni’s team, who are suffering from an extremely unlucky injury crisis it must be said, are sitting tied with the lowly Sacramento Kings in last place in the Eastern Conference.
However Kupchak has refused to turn up the heat of his head coach, insisting that the Lakers’ poor form is not his fault.
"Under very trying circumstances, I think he's done a great job," Kupchak said.
"Our players continue to play as hard as possible and compete in every game.
"After games, if we do lose, their heads go down and they're upset. There's no music playing, there's no guys walking out of the locker room with a hop in their step. It bothers them to lose."
Lakers fans aren’t yet calling for D’Antoni’s head, but unless they can regain some of their dignity during the run in to the end of the season then there’s every chance they may being to ask for someone else to take charge.
The playoffs are a virtual impossibility this season, but there’s no reason the Lakers won’t be able to return to the top with a bit of good luck and some clever trades.