Former New York Knicks and Phoenix Suns coach Mike D’Antoni signed a four-year deal to become the new head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers. The announcement late Sunday night came as somewhat of a surprise, considering former head coach Phil Jackson was set to deliver a decision sometime Monday as to whether or not he would return to the bench. However, talks apparently broke down with Jackson after he reportedly demanded $10 to $15 million annually, along with other incentives — mainly, significant say in personnel decisions and choosing a successor.
D’Antoni and Lakers star Kobe Bryant are no strangers to each other, as D’Antoni has been a fixture on the United States Men’s Basketball Team coaching staff during Bryant’s tenure. The move also reunites D’Antoni with Steve Nash, who ran the successful 7-seconds-or-less offense in Phoenix. D’Antoni is recovering from recent knee surgery, which many assumed would knock him out of the running for the position, but sources confirmed “it’ll be a couple of days before he comes in, but he’s further along than people believe.”