Mike D’Antoni is the next Los Angeles Lakers head coach, according to the Los Angeles Times. D’Antoni, and not Phil Jackson, was the selection because Jackson’s demands were too exorbitant.
Jackson holds records of 1155-485 in the regular season and 229-104 in the postseason, including 11 NBA championships. Jackson won 6 titles with Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls and 5 with two different incarnations of the Lakers. According to the LA Times:
Jackson was the overwhelming favorite to return to the Lakers until they heard his informal demands, which included a stake in team ownership, according to a person familiar with the situation.
“He was asking for the moon,” said the person, who also declined to be identified because they are not authorized to discuss the situation.
So, Alan Alda, can I have that speaking engagement back?
Sounds like Phil Jackson thought he was the man, cleared his schedule, and made some hardball demands thinking the Lakers would meet him most of the way, and they moved on.
As for D’Antoni, he obviously has the ties to Steve Nash from his years in Phoenix. Kobe has expressed support for both D’Antoni and Phil Jackson in the lead up to the hiring. D’Antoni signed a 4 year, $12 million deal, and will take over once he recovers from knee replacement surgery that he just had, which is why he did not even interview for the job in person.
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