Hired as Mike Brown’s replacement after the start of the 2012-13 season, Mike D’Antoni was tasked with trying to turn around a Lakers team which woefully underperformed during the first half of the season.
D’Antoni was successful in helping the Lakers scratch out a playoff berth during his first season with the team. However, he resigned after his second season with the Lakers after the team failed to make the playoffs for the first time in nine seasons.
Signed to a three-year, $8 million contract, D’Antoni was hired on Nov. 12, 2012 – just three days after Brown was fired following the Lakers’ 1-4 start. Prior to joining the Lakers, D’Antoni worked as head coach of the Phoenix Suns and New York Knicks, resigning as the Knicks head coach in March 2012.
Injuries to Steve Blake, Pau Gasol early during the 2012-13 season complicated D’Antoni’s efforts to bring back "Showtime" basketball to Los Angeles, saying the team’s ultimate goal was to end the season with a championship. After the team ended the first half of the season with a 17-24 record, D’Antoni later said making the playoffs would be the team’s focus.
The Lakers posted a winning record under D’Antoni in the second half before being swept by the San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the NBA playoffs. D’Antoni said he was never afraid of being fired by the Lakers following their disappointing season.
Injuries became an even bigger problem for the Lakers in D'Antoni's second season. The Lakers lost a league-worst 319 man-games to injuries in 2013-14. Kobe Bryant, who suffered a torn Achilles' tendon near the end of the 2012-13 season, played in only six games after suffering a lateral tibial plateau fracture in his left knee. Injuries to Steve Nash, Chris Kaman, Jordan Farmar and Xavier Henry further complicated the team's effort's to claw out of the Western Conference cellar.
The Lakers went on to miss the playoffs for the first time in nine seasons with a 27-55 mark that set a franchise record for most losses in a season. Less than two weeks later, D'Antoni announced his resignation.