The Los Angeles Lakers hired former New York Knicks and Phoenix Suns head coach Mike D’Antoni as the team’s next head coach and apparently could not come to terms with 11-time NBA champion, Phil Jackson, according to a team press release on Monday.
The news comes as a shock to most onlookers as Jackson was widely regarded as the favorite to take the job after multiple sources reported that the two sides were involved in negotiations. Jackson asked for multiple concessions, including a salary in line with what he had previously made, control over basketball decisions and travel restrictions that would alleviate some of the rigors of being an NBA head coach.
D’Antoni is an offensive-minded coach that will undoubtedly bring an element of ‘Showtime’ back to Los Angeles, but his teams have historically had deficiencies on defense. The Lakers have struggled in that area, allowing 94.4 points per gam and are 14th in that category. Steve Nash and Kobe Bryant have each worked with D’Antoni in the past, so there is familiarity, but Jackson was the clear-cut favorite until the team made the announcement.