T.J. SIMERS

Mike D'Antoni isn't the one to flip the switch for the Lakers

Kobe Bryant says it's time for a change, but the coach's reluctance to work overtime to correct things is the major cause for the Lakers' troubles. Is D'Antoni's heart really in the job?

Kobe Bryant said things aren't working and it's time for a change.

Coach Mike D'Antoni decided the Lakers didn't need to practice Tuesday.

Dear Phil…

The dysfunctional Lakers stayed overnight after Monday's loss in Chicago, because who wants to get to Memphis sooner rather than later?

After a good night's sleep, they took a midmorning flight to Memphis, which still allowed the Lakers all afternoon to work on what makes them so lousy.

But apparently D'Antoni thinks the Lakers are hopeless, as so many of you do.

And yet if the star player, who has been on his best behavior so far, suggests it's time for changes — and who out there disagrees? — why not change plans?

Why not try something different?

But if there has been one stubborn constant beyond the Lakers' losing this season, it's D'Antoni's reluctance to work overtime to correct things.

Why bother, I guess.

But it's odd when you consider D'Antoni started in November, so every minute working his team would be precious, you would think.

Or how about just getting the guys together and having Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard introduce themselves to the guys who are supposed to pass them the ball?

How often have we been told the Lakers' problem is they haven't had the chance to play together more?

Is D'Antoni trying to save his players' legs? Then have them sit down as he teaches them how to mesh better.

Once he said he doesn't need this job and he can always go play golf. The question now becomes a legitimate one: Is his heart in this?

Why isn't he doing his job as both coach and teacher? Why isn't he making adjustments? Or coming across more alive than dead?

Have you ever seen anyone look so befuddled?

It's as if he is hell-bent on destruction, his system trumping talent if it cannot fit into his approach.

How do you bench Gasol? Insanity.

It's a clear-cut case of a coach who does not know how to make adjustments, and at this level of coaching shouldn't he be one of the best at making adjustments?

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