Phil Jackson “stunned” when Lakers hired D’Antoni
Apparently, even Phil Jackson was shocked that the Lakers decided to hire Mike D’Antoni instead of the Zenmaster himself.
Hoopsvibe’s quick call: So are we, Phil. So are we.
After the Lakers fired Mike Brown last week following an unexpected 1-4 start to the season, it was looking like Los Angeles was going to replace him with Phil Jackson, to the delight of many Lakers faithful. But the organization decided to go a different route Monday and hired former Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni, which reportedly "stunned" Jackson, who’s won a record 11 NBA Championships as a head coach.
Ramona Shelburne and Chris Broussard reported via ESPNLosAngeles.com that Jackson was under the impression it was "his job to turn down" and the Lakers were giving Jackson until Monday to make his decision. But before Jackson announced his plan, the Lakers announced theirs, and Phil Jackson wasn’t in it.
The team had been reportedly uneasy about going back to the triangle offense, which would have been the case had they decided to hire Phil. The recent acquisitions of Dwight Howard and Steve Nash made team management lean towards D’Antoni, who spent years coaching Nash in Phoenix. Jackson had also apparently made special requests to come back to Los Angeles, including more say in personnel decisions, travel accomodations due to Jackson’s persisting health problems, and salary demands.
Lakers team spokesman John Black said that the both Jerry and Jim Buss, as well as GM Mitch Kupchak were "unanimous that D’Antoni was the best coach for the team at this time."
It will be very interesting to see how the Lakers respond in coming weeks and how their season pans out with D’Antoni at the helm. D’Antoni resigned as head coach of the New York Knicks with a few months left in last year’s season when the team’s record was a less than stellar 18-24.
What do you think, Hoopsvibers? Is D’Antoni a good man for the job? Leave your comments below!
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