I was right there with you. I was chanting “Phil! Phil! Phil!” In a turn of events, more shocking than the break-up between Justin and Selena, the Lakers didn’t choose their go-to-guy. Nope. Instead, L.A. has D’Antoni at the head to propel the Lakers through the rest of this season, and for a few more years to come.
Phil Jackson seemed the obvious choice to begin his third tour as Lakers’ head coach. He was familiar. He has been successful. And he was also Kobe’s #1 choice. Instead, former Phoenix Suns and New York Knicks’ head coach Mike D’Antoni agreed to a three-year, $12 million contract with a fourth-year team option with the Lakers.
Sources say the Lakers felt that Jackson was asking for too much in his return and that the team believed D’Antoni’s system was a better fit for the roster. Lakers fans were shocked, but the person who appeared most surprised was Phil himself. ESPN Los Angeles reports that the 11-time champion was “stunned” when the Lakers gave D’Antoni the job instead of him.
Unfortunately for Jackson, the only person to blame for his not being hired was himself. The list of demands Phil had to return were too much. For one, he asked to have Jim Buss’s power relinquished from the team where Jackson would instead have a lot of say in terms of player personnel. But the biggest token Phil asked for? An ownership stake in the team. That was something the Lakers were just not going to give up, propelling D’Antoni to the front of the head coach race.
My favorite part about today was looking at the onslaught on Twitter of angry, shocked, confused, and disjointed Lakers fans. In the midst of all the chaos, I came across a tweet that had me chuckling at my desk at work. I don’t think I could have said it better:
So Lakers dumped their girlfriend, sent flowers to their true love, and just as she considered reuniting they asked someone else to Prom?
— Matt Winer (@matt_winer) November 12, 2012
To end this post, I just want to say WELCOME to D’Antoni. I know Nash is happy you are here, and as long as you bring L.A. success, I am sure all of us will welcome you with open arms.
Lakers Nation News
The Silver Screen & Roll Podcast: Episode #4 [Silver Screen and Roll]
Bomani & Jones: Who The Lakers Should Have Hired [Silver Screen and Roll]
Mike D’Antoni Signs Four-Year Deal To Coach Lakers [Silver Screen and Roll]
Nash might not be available this Friday vs. PHX [SB Nation]
Mike D’Antoni Hire Offers Possibilities While Battling Perceptions [Forum Blue and Gold]
Phil Jackson: ‘I did have the confidence that I could do the job’ [Lakers Blog]
Is Mike D’Antoni the Right Fit for Lakers? [SB Nation]
Mike Brown’s Firing Stuns LeBron [ESPN Video]
Lakers 103, Kings 90 [OC Register]
Lakers Resist Phil Jackson’s Power Play [Yahoo Sports]
Lakers Were Torn Between Jackson, D’Antoni [SB Nation]
Twitter Reacts: D’Antoni to LA [Hang Time Blog]
Breaking News: Lakers Hire Mike D’Antoni As New Head Coach [Forum Blue and Gold]
L.A. Lakers Make Mike D’Antoni Hiring Official [SB Nation]
Postgame: Kobe Bryant [Lakers.com]
Mike Brown’s Departure Was Shocking to Lakers Players [LA Times]
Steve Blake Flown to Doctor’s Appointment [Lakers Blog]
History Says Lakers Play Long Odds [Hang Time Blog]
No Phil Jackson: Mike D’Antoni Signed as Lakers New Coach [OC Register]
NBA Viewing Guide, Week 3 [SB Nation]
Chris Paul Now Owns Part of a Professional Bowling Team [ProBasketballTalk]
DeMarcus Cousins got a confusing suspension [Ball Don’t Lie]
Spurs, Knicks Top Early-Season List [SB Nation]
Garnett Says Jeff Green Needs To Be More of an A****** [ProBasketballTalk]
Westbrook’s Spree Spurs Thunder Past Cavs 106-91 [Yahoo Sports]
The Celtics’ ‘Big’ Problem, The Trouble with Injury Timelines and More [SB Nation]
Kevin McHale to take immediate leave of absence from Rockets [ProBasketballTalk]
Memphis blows away Miami, 104-86 [SB Nation]
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist Loses a Shoe, Scores Anyway (VIDEO) [Ball Don’t Lie]
Blocks of the Week [Yahoo Sports]
NBA Power Rankings: The Knicks Are On Top? The Knicks Are On Top [ProBasketballTalk]
Andrew Bynum Injury: Sixers’ Center May Not Return Until January [SB Nation]