The Los Angeles Lakers are leaning towards firing head coach Mike D'Antoni at the end of the season, it has been claimed.
This is according to reports from ESPNLA.com’s Dave McMenamin cited by NBC Sports, who also suggests that rumblings claiming the team - who have had a terrible 2013/14 season during which time they have been ravaged by injury woes - were considering retaining him are inaccurate.
62-year-old D'Antoni - who has a wealth of coaching experience and had notable spells with the Phoenix Suns and New York Knicks before moving to Staples Center - joined the Lakers in November 2012 after predecessor Mike Brown was dismissed following a poor start to the season.
His time with the franchise hasn't exactly run smoothly, either, with the 2012/13 campaign proving desperately disappointing after a roster packed with stars including the likes of Dwight Howard and veteran point guard Steve Nash limped towards the playoffs before being comprehensively dispatched in the first round by the seemingly timeless San Antonio Spurs.
Howard - who clearly suffered from a clash of personalities with a certain Kobe Bryant during his solitary season with the Lakers - departed LA for Houston this summer despite the offer of a max contract in LA and that set the tone for what has been the worst season many Lakers fans can recall.
With Nash and Bryant sidelined for months at a time, the Lakers have occupied lowly position in the Western Conference for most of the season and are most certainly heading to the lottery.
And while D'Antoni has been powerless to prevent such a slump with so many players out injured, it certainly wouldn't be a surprise to see him fired given that he is desperately unpopular with fans and has regularly clashed with Lakers stalwart Pau Gasol.