The Lakers have picked Mike D’Antoni to be their new coach, replacing Mike Brown, who was fired last week.
Phil Jackson was the preferred choice of Lakers management, but Jackson wanted more than the Lakers were willing to give in order to return for a third term as head coach.
D’Antoni coached for one season with the Denver Nuggets, five with the Phoenix Suns and three-plus, through last season, with the New York Knicks.
The former Suns coach still has strong bond with his former player and new Laker, Steve Nash.
“Obviously I think everyone knows how much I love Mike,” said Nash last week. “If [D’Antoni] were to coach, it would be seamless and terrific for me, and I think the team as well.”
Nash suffered a non-displaced leg fracture against the Portland Trail Blazers in the Lakers’ second game of the season. He’s out for another week with no clear timetable for his return, but coming back to play for his former coach could ease some transition pain.