The LA Lakers should fire Mike D'Antoni after Clippers embarrassment

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D'Antoni has to go soon
D'Antoni has to go soon.

The LA Lakers have been a shambles this season, and their humiliating defeat last night against city rivals the Clippers only served to confirm the fact.

But the manner of their franchise-record 142-94 defeat is what is most concerning, and is exactly why Mike D'Antoni has to go.

A season hit by injuries to key men was always going to be a difficult proposition for the coach, who was hired back in 2012 over Lakers legend Phil Jackson.

But while that may have led to a season defined by tanking - a tactic the Lakers must surely have been indulging in, winning just 5 of 21 since Jan. 20th - that is no excuse for the lack of passion or enthusiasm that was seen in the gold and purple last night.

Lakers fans might be used to winning in the recent past, but even they could perhaps stomach a season of "rebuilding", especially considering the absence of their hero Kobe Bryant, as long as their coach put out a team that at least appeared to be caring.

Unfortunately for the Lakers Nation that has been a far too infrequent occurrence over recent months.

Their season has already been defined by a franchise-record settling home court losing streak, and they need a change of direction quickly before the damage becomes too deep.

D'Antoni's current deal runs until the end of the 2014-15 season but it is looking increasingly unlikely that he will reach that landmark.

The franchise themselves has reportedly earmarked 2015 as a key year in terms of free agency and this is even more reason to replace D'Antoni now so as to allow a new man ample time to prepare for what could be a defining period for the team.

Having already fallen out with Pau Gasol, and led former player Dwight Howard to demand D'Antoni's resignation if there was to be any chance he would return to LA last year, the head coach is not the man to entice new players to the franchise.

This season is already a right off for the once-great gold and purple, so why not bite the bullet and get rid of a man who looks increasingly unable to handle the post?

Injuries may mask his shortcomings this season, but that doesn't hide the fact that in his first full season in charge D'Antoni led a team expected to challenge for a 17th NBA Championship to a stumbling campaign which ended in the first round of the playoffs - the franchise's earliest exit since 2007.

The La Lakers need to accept that it just hasn't worked out with Mike D'Antoni - the sooner the better for all concerned.

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