LOS ANGELES (Sporting Alert) — The Los Angeles Lakers have shockingly decided to hire Mike D’Antoni as the new head coach, the club announced on its website at www.lakers.com on Sunday night.
D’Antoni had been in to the running to coach the Lakers, this after Mike Brown was fired on Friday, but he was only the second option, as former coach Phil Jackson had been labelled as the “main man.”
Jackson had met with the Lakers representatives over the weekend and it was believed that an announcement about his decision would have been made on Monday.
However, Lakers spokesman John Black confirmed D’Antoni’s appointment at time when everyone was bracing for a Jackson return – and he, according to the club’s website, added that: “Lakers owner Dr. Jerry Buss, executive vice president Jim Buss and general manager Mitch Kupchak were unanimous that D’Antoni was the best coach for the team at this time.”
Although many had wanted Jackson to make his third return to the team, it is believed that there are lots of support from players for the former New York Knicks coach D’Antoni, who has a good relationship with Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash.
Bryant, following the sacking of Brown made it clear that he wanted Jackson to return again coach him, but expressed his support for D’Antoni.
“I love him,” Kobe Bryant was quoted as saying of D’Antoni, according to Yahoo! Sports.