While the entire basketball was holding their breath for Phil Jackson’s comeback from retirement to take over LA Lakers again, the Californian team opted to hire D’Antoni instead.
The Lakers initially offered the job to Phil Jackson but the legendary coach, and winner of 11 NBA rings, was asking for the world as per team sources, including control over travel restrictions, player movements, salary and even ownership stake at the club.
On the contrary, Mike D’Antoni was more than happy to take over the team, signing a four-year deal, which made some Lakers players happy as well. Such as Steve Nash, who played the best basketball of his career under his old-new coach.
“Obviously with Mike, everyone know how I feel about him. It would be a seamless fir for me,” stated the Canadian star.
Obviously the new coach will look to employ his signature offensive strategy at Lakers, given the sheer talent of his squad, but he will also try to take care of the defensive end too by hiring defensive specialist coach Nate McMillian.
As for the financial part of the deal, D’Antoni will get a total of $12M for three years, with the Lakers retaining the option for a fourth year.