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Jordan Hill admits he would've left Lakers if they had kept Mike D'Antoni

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The Los Angeles Lakers were a shadow of their former selves last season, struggling from game to game before eventually finishing in 14th place in the Western Conference with an embarrassing 27-55 record.

The entire experience was not a pleasant one for those down at the Staples Center and many involved with the famous franchise are simply looking to move on rather than looking back in the hope of finding positives. 

There was though one favourable consequence to come from it all though for one player at least. The firing of head coach Mike D'Antoni.

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Lakers big man Jordan Hill admitted today that he would not still be at the franchise had D'Antoni remained in charge beyond the end of the 2013-14 campaign.

"If Mike was here, I wouldn't be back," the Los Angeles Daily News reports Hill as saying this week.

And Hill, who has been on the Lakers roster since 2012, had a fairly simple explanation of just why he would have sought pastures new had the Lakers hierarchy not enforced a change.

"That's the way it was. No disrespect to Mike, but apparently I didn't fit his system. Why would I come back?"

Bright moments

Hill was actually one of the very few bright spots in an otherwise disastrous campaign for the Lakers last time out.

The 2009 first round draft pick posted career numbers on the year, averaging 9.7 points and 7.4 rebounds.

That didn't look like helping his cause with D'Antoni still in charge down in Los Angeles though with reports suggesting Hill and the then head coach had very different ideas about how the big man should be utilized out on the court.

With D'Antoni still in charge it seemed like Hill was on the way out.

Lakers changes

As we all know Mike D'Antoni wasn't long for the Lakers top job in the end, and with the former Knicks and Suns man gone it didn't take long for Hill and the Lakers to agree upon a new two-year deal worth $18 million.

In D'Antoni's place the Lakers have installed a former franchise star in his playing days, Byron Scott.

And if the early signs are anything to go by, he and Hill are set for a more effective working relationship.

"“Last year, I was thinking too much about playing,” Hill said.

“If I messed up, I wondered if I would see the floor again. Right now, Byron is relying on me and I’m one of his guys. That really builds more confidence in me to come out this year and play my game.”

Topics:
NBA
LA Lakers

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