Kobe Bryant didn't envision Mike D'Antoni becoming the Lakers' next coach. It surely would be Phil Jackson, no?
"I think we were all kind of thinking it was going to be Phil," Bryant said Tuesday. "It probably caught Mike D'Antoni off guard a little bit too. But I'm excited."
Jackson coached Bryant for 11 seasons on the Lakers, the two of them winning five championships together.
"Phil and I have gone back since I was 20 years old and everything he's taught me and so forth," said Bryant, normally not the nostalgic type. "There's a little bit of that. At the same time, I'm very excited about Coach D. I know Phil will be enjoying his retirement and looking to get back in the game, although probably not in a coaching standpoint, probably a managerial role at some point."
Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak and team executive Jim Buss asked Bryant, Steve Nash and Dwight Howard who they thought would be the best candidates for the position.
"To be honest, I said D'Antoni was my fir...