Phil Jackson says he laughed when the Lakers hired Mike D’Antoni

05/22/2013 at 11:37 am By

Phil JacksonRemember early in the 2012-2013 season when the Los Angeles Lakers flirted with the idea of re-hiring legendary head coach Phil Jackson but instead decided to go with Mike D’Antoni and how comical the whole ordeal was? Well apparently Jackson found it just as comical, as he expressed during a television/radio appearance Wednesday morning:

“I laughed,” Jackson told ESPN’s “Mike & Mike in the Morning” show Wednesday. “It was humorous to me when Mitch said that we think that Mike is a better coach for this group of guys.”

“I think it didn’t happen because there was some concern, How are we going to move in the right direction for this ballclub?” Jackson said. “When Mitch gave me the call close to midnight on Sunday night right before I was going to give them an answer Monday morning and said, ‘We’ve made a choice. We’re going to hire Mike D’Antoni. We think he’s the best coach for this group of guys,’ My answer was, ‘For Steve Nash, yes, I agree, but for Dwight Howard, I’m not so sure.'”

From there the Lakers struggled to stay healthy and had to scrap just to make the playoffs in the final days of the season and eventually were swept in the first round by the San Antonio Spurs. D’Antoni’s more uptempo style appeared to clash with the Lakers’ collective age, yielding mixed results and a reported rift between D’Antoni and Howard.

With Howard’s pending free agency and the Lakers sever-aging roster, maybe hiring D’Antoni wasn’t the wisest move in hindsight. But as the saying goes, hindsight is alwats 20/20 after the smoke clears.


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