Mitch Kupchak says Mike D’Antoni has “done a great job”

Lakers Heads Coach Mike D'Antoni stalks the sidelines. The Lakers played the San Antonio Spurs in a regular season game at Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA. March 19, 2014 (Photo by John McCoy / Los Angeles Daily News)

Lakers Heads Coach Mike D’Antoni stalks the sidelines. The Lakers played the San Antonio Spurs in a regular season game at Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA. March 19, 2014 (Photo by John McCoy / Los Angeles Daily News)

Here’s an assessment surrounding Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni that is rarely uttered on the airwaves.

“I think he’s done a great job,” Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said in an interview with this newspaper.

The Lakers’ 125-109 loss Wednesday to the San Antonio Spurs at Staples Center marked just one of many losses has entailed an injury-riddled roster. But even with the Lakers (22-45) destined to miss the playoffs for only the fifth time in playoff history, both Kupchak and Kobe Bryant showed sympathy for D’Antoni.

“It’s been tough on him,” Bryant said Wednesday on The Dan Patrick Show. “The two years that he’s been here, he’s been dealing with so many injuries left and right. He hasn’t really gotten a fair deal, fair shake at it since he’s been here.”

Bryant offered a non-committal “I don’t know,” on whether D’Antoni should stay. But what about Kupchak?

“I don’t want to get into that with those kind of questions,” Kupchak said. “He’s done a great job and dealt with a year last year when he was here part time and a ridiculous amount of injuries this year.”

D’Antoni has gone 62-77 through nearly two seasons with the Lakers. But the Lakers don’t plan on evaluating him until after the season ends.

“I don’t sit around and look into hot chocolate and say, ‘Aw, I don’t know,’” D’Antoni said. “You just do your job, you do the best you can and hope you get some breaks along the way.”

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