Dwight Howard's free agency period begins in less than 24 hours and the big man has not, and will not, ask for the Los Angeles Lakers to fire head coach Mike D'Antoni, according to a report from Dave McMenamin and Ramona Shelburne of ESPN. Further, the Lakers have privately assured D'Antoni he will return as head coach whether Howard stays or leaves, reports Shelburne and McMenamin.
Despite Howard not directly asking for D'Antoni to be replaced, previous reports indicate that he did not like playing in D'Antoni's system and expressed his frustration with the coach during his exit interview with general manager Mitch Kupchak. Kupchak denied the existence of that conversation and also stated that "players don't have to like coaches."
The Lakers have not publicly changed their stance on their desire to allow D'Antoni a full training camp and fresh bill of health. Of course, the Lakers also were also very public in their support of Mike Brown up till the day he was fired after his 1-4 start of the 2012-2013 NBA season.
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