The topic was expected to arise at some point, as D-12 experienced the worst season of his career under D'Antoni's guidance. Surprisingly, it wasn't just the on-court issues that made Howard so upset. It was all about whom the head coach opted to seek for leadership.
According to sources with knowledge of the situation, part of the discussion between Howard and Kupchak centered around Howard's frustration with D'Antoni -- particularly how the center felt marginalized as the coach looked to Bryant and Steve Nash for leadership and suggestions and discounted Howard's voice.
It doesn't end there.
D'Antoni recently removed assistant coach Chuck Person from his staff, which had an adverse effect on D-12's morale. Person was viewed as a "confidant" to Howard and was one of the few things keeping his relationship with D'Antoni intact.
Per McMenamin, Person and Clifford were viewed as the "buffers" between Howard and D'Antoni. Without them, sources put it simply by saying it's "a bad thing."
Something you do not want to hear as the Lakers general manager—not after the experience the Orlando Magic had with D-12.
Perhaps most concerning of all is the fact that Ken Berger of CBS Sports reports that Howard is intrigued by the prospect of playing for the Houston Rockets. With Houston possessing mountains of cap space and a star of their own in James Harden, L.A. could be in a dangerous position.
It's worth noting that Texas has no income tax.
There is no guarantee that it will come down to Howard or D'Antoni, so that assumption would be premature. With that being said, the two were unable to work together in the manner expected of them during L.A.'s disastrous 2012-13 season.
All Howard can hope for is that the Lakers' front office doesn't allow pride to get in their way of making the proper decisions this summer.