The Los Angeles Lakers made it official last night hiring Mike D’Antoni, not Phil Jackson, as their next head coach.
The deal in total is for four seasons in which D’Antoni is guaranteed $12 million over the first three with a team option for the fourth.
“We signed Mike D’Antoni to a multi-year deal,” Lakers spokesman John Black told the LA Times. “Dr. [Jerry] Buss, Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak were unanimous that Mike D’Antoni was the best coach for the team at this time.”
D’Antonti most recently coached the New York Knicks last season before being replaced by Mike Woodson. He is currently recovering from knee replacement surgery and will take over as head coach within a week or two.
The Lakers started this season 1-4 under Mike Brown and then have won the last two games since he was fired under interim coach Bernie Bickerstaff.
The Lakers wanted Phil Jackson to come back but apparently he wanted too much and a deal could not be reached.
Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash have both expressed their support for the D’Antoni hiring. Kobe also was all four Jackson returning but likes D’Antoni too, idolizing him growing up and he even wore No. 8 to begin his career because of D’Antoni.
Nash has a great history with D’Antoni winning two MVP’s while the point guard in his 7 seconds or less offensive system. Nash, D’Antoni and the Suns made it to two Western Conference Finals together.
The Princeton offense era in L.A. is dead already and there won’t be a return to the Triangle either. Nash will surely be the focal point of the offense again under D’Antoni with some obvious tweaks being made for Kobe, Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard as well.