Originally written on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 11/12/12

The Los Angeles Lakers pulled off a stunner when they decided to hire Mike D’Antoni as their new basketball coach when it looked like Phil Jackson was going to get the job. Now we’re hearing from Jackson that the team went back on its agreement with him, and another report says he was ready to accept the head coaching job. Jackson told his side of the story in a statement (via the LA Times): “Saturday morning, Jim Buss, called to ask if he could come and visit. I did not solicit or ask for the opportunity, but I welcomed both he and Mitch Kupchak into my home to discuss the possibility of my return to the Lakers as the head coach. We talked for over an hour and a half. No contractual terms were discussed and we concluded with a hand shake and an understanding that I would have until Monday (today) to come back to them with my decision. “I did convey to them that I did have the confidence that I could do the job. I was awakened at midnight on Sunday by a phone call from Mitch Kupchak. He told me that the Lakers had signed Mike D’Antoni to a 3-year agreement and that they felt he was the best coach for the team. “The decision is of course theirs to make. “I am gratified by the groundswell of support from the Laker Fans who endorsed my return and it is the principal reason why I considered the possibility.” ESPN LA also says Jackson was prepared to take the job so long as the contract negotiations went well. Instead, as Jackson is portraying things, the Lakers worked behind his back and just decided to hire D’Antoni. Yahoo! Sports says matters are not as simple as Jackson makes them seem. Marc J. Spears reported on Sunday night that Jackson had several demands if he were to take control of the team, including a large salary and control over personnel decisions. Yahoo!’s Adrian Wojnarowski went into greater detail on this issue, reporting that the Lakers resisted Jackson’s “power grab” by hiring someone else. If you read Woj’s report, you’ll come away thinking that Jackson was hardly a victim. Jackson’s agent, Todd Musburger, has also gone into full-on defense mode. He is trying to spin things in Jackson’s favor by discrediting the reports about his contractual demands. “There were no demands, outrageous or otherwise,” Musburger told ESPN LA. “To say that he wanted control or that he wanted a zillion dollars or that he wanted equity, those were not topics discussed in the meeting between Kupchak, Buss and Phil. If the Lakers didn’t spread those things, the fact they didn’t take an affirmative stance to correct the record is very troublesome.” I believe the reports from Yahoo! saying that Jackson had incredible demands, and that the Lakers chose D’Antoni as a way of telling Jackson to stick it. The only real question is whether it was a good move by the Lakers. I don’t think it was. As for whether or not they’re a championship team, apparently Jackson is leery. Phil said to call this Lakers team a championship one is a “misnomer.” Wasn’t sure they had “mobility and agility” to compete w/ East teams. — Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) November 13, 2012 Jackson wouldn’t return if he didn’t think the team could win a championship. Maybe he felt he could be the difference. We’ll know over the next several months whether the Lakers made the right decision. What we do know is that this has been the latest dramatic chapter in Hollywood’s wildest reality show.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Vin Scully will return to the Dodgers in 2016

Rob Gronkowski’s younger brother, Glenn, trying to make NFL as fullback

Michael Bennett fined over $17K for nasty hit on Alex Smith

Cam Cameron battling prostate cancer

RG3 to be held out 1-2 weeks after doctor changes mind

LA Kings offer Peter Budaj a professional tryout

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Carlos Boozer hoping roster spot opens on playoff team

Starting EJ Manuel not a bad idea for Bills’ third preseason game

Tim Beckman fired by Illinois amid mistreatment allegations

Chip Kelly reveals thought process behind Bradford trade

Charles Barkley on ex-agent: ‘I’d blow his damn brains out’

Bryce Harper doesn’t seem to care if Nationals make playoffs

Ronda Rousey makes breakfast look good in Carl’s Jr. ad

NFL admits communication breakdown in Pats-Saints game

WATCH: TJ Yeldon gets crushed in brutal goal-line collision

The WWE Divas Revolution is getting ugly

PHOTO: Enes Kanter dwarfed by world’s tallest man

The NFL’s season kickoff isn’t going as planned, but plans don’t matter in the NFL

Jonathan Kraft: Patriots haven’t apologized to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen

Ballmer declines $60M/yr TV deal, could start streaming

Nationals forced to re-issue massive bobblehead order

Jay Gruden would like the media to stop calling him fat

Spieth: New irons the reason for missed cut at Barclays?

Opening Drive: Where have all the great UM tailbacks gone?

The 1980s Lakers represent the NBA’s ultimate creation story

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Ronda Rousey's Carl’s Jr. ad

The WWE Divas Revolution is getting ugly

The NFL’s season kickoff isn’t going as planned, but plans don’t matter in the NFL

The Opening Drive: What happened to all the great Michigan tailbacks?

The 1980s Lakers represent the NBA’s ultimate creation story

The Orioles’ frustrating season

Five greatest NBA players of all-time

Finding signs of life for the Red Sox

10 NFL players set for down seasons in 2015

Why NFL preseason games matter

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker