The Los Angeles Lakers have hired former Phoenix Suns and New York Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni instead of Phil Jackson, reports LATimes.com.
D'Antoni, 61, signed a reported four year deal that may pay him $12 million for three guaranteed seasons with a team option in the fourth year. He will join the team in a week or two after he recovers from knee-replacement surgery.
The Lakers will introduce D'Antoni as their new coach at a news conference sometime this week, Bernie Bickerstaff will remain the team's interim coach.
The Lakers decided D'Antoni over Jackson because Jackson was asking for to much, which according to the LA Times source included ownership in the team.
Steve Nash said earlier Sunday that D'Antoni would be terrific for the team.
"Obviously, I think everyone knows how much I love Mike," said Nash, who played four seasons and won two MVP awards under D'Antoni in Phoenix. "If he were the coach, it would be seamless and terrific for me, and I think the team as well.”
Kobe Bryant said Sunday that he liked both Jackson and D'Antoni as the Lakers next coach.
"They know how I feel about Phil. They know how I feel about D'Antoni, I like them both."
The new Lakers coach will likely bring two longtime assistants with him to LA--his brother, Dan D'Antoni, and Phil Weber.
D'Antoni's record as a coach is 388-339 in the NBA.