Mike D'Antoni Appointed As Lakers Head Coach
By Ivetta Babadjanian
Nov 12, 2012 - 6:18:10 PM
LOS ANGELES—It was announced on Monday, November 12, that Mike D'Antoni signed a multi-year contract to be head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers. The contract is for three years at $12 million, and the team holds an option for a fourth year.
Newly appointed head coach of the L.A. Lakers, Mike D'Antoni.
“After speaking with several excellent and well-respected coaching candidates, Dr. Buss, Jim and I all agreed that Mike was the right person at this time to lead the Lakers forward,” said Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak in an official statement. “Knowing his style of play and given the current make-up of our roster, we feel Mike is a great fit, are excited to have him as our next head coach and hope he will help our team reach its full potential.”
D'Antoni, 61, is the 24th head coach in franchise history and 20th in the Los Angeles era and owns a 388-339 overall head coaching record in ten seasons with Denver, Phoenix and New York. Most recently, he served as an assistant coach under Mike Krzyzewski on the gold medal-winning U.S. Men's National Basketball Team during the 2012 London Olympics.
D'Antoni is replacing former Lakers head coach, Mike Brown, who was fired on Friday, November 9, after the team began the season 1-4 which was their worst start since 1993.
The Lakers were in talks with bringing back former coach, Phil Jackson, who met for 90 minutes on Saturday with Kupchak and Lakers vice president, Jim Buss. No firm commitments were made, although it seemed as though both parties wanted the reunion. Jackson asked for two days to deliberate and planned to meet with team officials on Monday to discuss the contract terms. His agent, Todd Musburger, was on a red-eye flight to Los Angeles when the Lakers hired D'Antoni.
Jackson released a statement on Monday evening that said he “did not solicit or ask for the opportunity” to return to the Lakers, but responded to the invitation from Buss and Kupchak. “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,” he stated.
D'Antoni's coaching staff with the Lakers will likely pertain his two longtime assistants, Phil Weber and his brother, Dan D'Antoni. Bernie Bickerstaff will remain as the team's interim coach until D'Antoni is officially introduced as the Lakers head coach during a news conference.
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