As Phil Jackson continues his media tour to promote his new book, Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success, we’re learning more and more about the situation at the beginning of the season when the Lakers looked beyond Jackson and hired Mike D’Antoni as the team’s next head coach.
In an interview on The Dan Patrick Show on Tuesday morning, Patrick asked Jackson to clarify some of the events that took place.
DP: Were you offered the job?
PJ: I would say yes to the answer and the question. It was proposed to me without any hesitation. They wanted to hear me out and I wanted to hear them out.
DP: What happened 11th hour? Do you know all the details behind the scenes? They were waiting for your answer? Is that fair?
PJ: Yeah, I would say that’s fair. Obviously at the end of the process, Mitch Kupchak had asked to come along with Jim Buss, and at the end of the process Mitch said you know I’m going to have to continue interviewing people for the job. If you turn this down I have to be prepared to move on.
Jackson went on to explain that he wasn’t expecting Mike D’Antoni to be in the running for the job, as he felt his knee surgery would prevent him from accepting the job.
It’s surprising to hear Jackson say the team actually offered him the job, as that’s a piece of information we hadn’t heard before. We knew that there had been mutual interest in both parties, but it was thought that the team went with D’Antoni because they didn’t want to wait for Jackson to make a decision. According to Phil it sounds more like he was given the offer before having it taken away from him at the last second.
Obviously there are different sides to every story, but hearing Jackson’s side of this fiasco is quite intriguing.
One thing is certain, and that’s that there are a lot of stories left to be told by Jackson, and that his latest book isn’t going to be the end of them.
Did you see Phil Jackson stop by The Tonight Show to chat with Jay Leno? If not, check out our video below and don’t forget to click here to subscribe to our YouTube Channel!