The Los Angeles Lakers announced early Monday morning that they have signed Mike D’Antoni to replace Mike Brown as the team’s next head coach.
This hire comes just days after Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak met with Phil Jackson regarding the very same vacancy.
According to ESPN, D’Antoni’s deal is for four years at a total of $12 million, with the final year being a team option. It was reportedly struck relatively quickly after discussions between Jackson and the Lakers “broke down.”
Among the sticking points between Jackson and Lakers brass: how Steve Nash and Dwight Howard would fit into the triangle, and perhaps some of the lofty demands Jackson had made during their initial meeting. That last bit is being disputed by Jackson’s people.
Jackson was reportedly "stunned" when notified of the Lakers' decision to go in a different direction.
The official news of D’Antoni’s hiring is expected to be made on Tuesday or Wednesday of this week. Because of knee surgery that he underwent at the beginning of this month, the former Phoenix Suns and New York Knicks head coach isn’t even cleared to travel yet. There are very real questions at this time regarding when he exactly he will be able to join the team.