Although it seemed imminent that Phil Jackson would return to the Lakers sideline, the Lakers ended up bringing in Mike D’Antoni as their new head coach.
In a surprising turnabout, the Los Angeles Lakers hired Mike D’Antoni as coach late Sunday, passing on another reunion with Phil Jackson, D’Antoni’s agent told Yahoo! Sports.
The decision came late Sunday, one day after Lakers officials met with Jackson to discuss the possibility of him becoming the franchise’s coach a third time. Jackson, league sources said, was seeking greater personnel control, a relaxed travel schedule and a two-year contract that would pay him at least $10 million a season.
D’Antoni, 61, signed a four-year contract with the Lakers, said his agent, Warren LeGarie. He recently underwent knee surgery and is awaiting his doctors’ clearance as to when he can travel from New York to Los Angeles. A firm timetable for when he can begin coaching has yet to be established.