It's been clear for most of this NBA season that the LA Lakers are not intent on winning games. Whether or not the Lakers are actually tanking can be debated but 16 losses in the last two months tells a story.
However, according to a report by Dave McMenamin of ESPN LA, Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni may have preferred to have lost one more game.
The purple and gold actually recorded a win this week, triumphing 119-104 over the Utah Jazz in a victory which may seriously impact their chances of winning the draft lottery. Unfortunately, D'Antoni was unaware of this.
Speaking after the game, the coach said: “They played hard, and I think, if I’m not mistaken, it’s the same number of pingpong balls, right?. They flip a coin, or something.”
D'Antoni was indeed mistaken however, and now the Lakers are likely to end with the sixth worst record in the league rather than the fifth worst that they could have had with a defeat to the Jazz.
The coach was able to acknowledge his mistake on finding out however, saying: “I mean, you kind of hate that...But, I thought we had the same rank.”
D'Antoni has not really done a lot right since arriving in Los Angeles at the beginning of last season. He struggled to make the playoffs last season with a much talented roster than the one they have now and the team have struggled with injuries in 2013-14.
With all that in mind, it still remains unclear whether D'Antoni will be with the Lakers when they make their pick, no matter where it falls.