Lakers Land D'Antoni, not Jackson
There's a new man in town for the Los Angeles Lakers.
But it's not what anybody in the basketball world anticipated...
Mike D'Antoni (not Phil Jackson), was named head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers early Monday morning (or Sunday night pacific time), sources told Los Angeles Times beat writer Mike Bresnahan.
D'Antoni will join the team following medical clearance from knee surgery. He has a career record of 388-339 in stops with the Phoenix Suns from 2003-2008 and the New York Knicks from 2008-2012. He resigned 42 games into the shortened lockout season in 2012 after a 18-24 start.
Many anticipated the return of Phil Jackson to the sidelines all weekend long. Jackson, who led the Lakers to five championships, seemed primed and ready to go at it again for a 12th championship as a head coach, but there was talk about the travel schedule for the season. Despite Dr. Jerry Buss' desire to want to bring Phil back in, he allowed his son, Jim, to bring in D'Antoni to replace Mike Brown, who was fired five games into the season and had a record of 42-29 in 71 games as head coach for the Lakers.
The contract is reportedly a three-year deal worth $12M, with a team option for a fourth year. The Lakers will make a formal announcement Monday.