Lakers hire new head coach
Sunday night, the Los Angeles Lakers signed Mike D’Antoni as their new head coach. This comes after a 1-4 start to the season led to the abrupt firing of Mike Brown Friday.
D’Antoni previously coached the Phoenix Suns and New York Knicks. The hiring is reported to have been heavily influenced by legendary Laker’s bench leader Phil Jackson. Jackson himself had been in talks with Lakers front-office personnel to consider a return to the Los Angeles sidelines.
The Lakers management anonymously approved the decision to hire D’Antoni, citing his experience.
”Dr. (Jerry) Buss, Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak unanimously agreed that Mike was the best coach for this roster at this time,” said team spokesman John Black.
From 2003-2008, D’Antoni led the Suns and had current Lakers point guard, Steve Nash, as one of his players. He spent his last four seasons coaching the Knicks with moderate success, resigning from the team last March. This past summer, he served as one of the coaches for the Team USA men’s basketball team at the London Olympics.
It is uncertain when D’Antoni will actually arrive in Los Angeles to begin the job, but in the meantime interim coach, Bernie Bickerstaff will mind the team. The Lakers have won both of their games since Brown’s firing, improving their record to 3-4. They will host the San Antonio Spurs Tuesday night.