Kobe Bryant has proven over the course of his career in the NBA that he isn't easy to work with. The five-time NBA champion will go down as one of the best to have ever played in the game once it is all said and done, but he won't be remembered for getting along with his head coaches during his time with the Los Angeles Lakers. Mike D'Antoni is no exception with his relationship with the superstar having gotten worse and worse over the course of the 2013-14 NBA season, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN on May 12.
Reportedly, Kobe and D'Antoni rarely spoke toward of the end of their time together in Los Angeles. D'Antoni believed Kobe was losing a valuable connection with his teammates and requested the veteran guard change his routine via McMenamin:
The Bryant-D’Antoni relationship deteriorated to the point where the pair barely spoke by the end of their tenure together.
Bryant would often use the Lakers’ shootaround time to receive treatment in the training room. When D’Antoni thought this was causing a disconnect between Bryant and his teammates, the coach asked the star guard to change his routine, according to a league source.
After being shutdown for the season due to a knee injury, it was rumored that Kobe was done playing for D'Antoni and wanted another change at head coach. It was only a rumor, but many believed it to be true with the perennial All-Star clearly unhappy with the direction of the storied franchise.
Ultimately, the Lakers finished the disappointing season with the worst record in franchise at 27-55. It was only the second time the Lakers missed the playoffs with Kobe on the roster.
Back in February, the Lakers made a bold move to sign the superstar to a two-year , $48.5 million contract extension. The organization was widely criticized for the move as Kobe had yet to return from a ruptured Achilles tendon suffered toward the end of last season.
With Kobe locked in for two more seasons, it comes as no surprise that the future Hall of Famer would want the right head coach in place in order to give him at least one more chance at a title in possibly his final two years of his NBA career. It remains to be seen if the next coach will be able to help turn things around as the Lakers franchise facing a tough challenge moving forward.