Lakers Name Mike D’Antoni Head Coach
In a somewhat surprsining move, the Los Angles Lakers named Mike D’Antoni as their new head coach on Sunday night.
Many expected former Lakers’ coach Phil Jackson to step into the role that was vacated when Mike Brown was fired on Friday, but negotiations between Jackson and the team apparently broke down over the weekend.
D’Antoni has reportedly agreed to a three-year deal with the Lakers, with a club option for a fourth year.
The 61-year old D’Antoni has parts of ten years of head coaching experience in the NBA, as the head man of the Denver Nuggets (1998-1999), Phoenix Suns (2003-2008), and New York Knicks (2008-2012). In those ten seasons, D’Antoni has compiled a 388-339 record, including a 26-29 playoff record.
The Lakers won the NBA Championship in the 2009-2010 season under Jackson, their second-consecutive titlte, but were ousted in the second round of the 2010-2011 playoffs by the Dallas Mavericks, the last season for Jackson.
Last season, the first under Brown, the Lakers went 41-25, before losing in the Western Conference semi-finals to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
During the off-season, the Lakers acquired point guard Steve Nash, who won two Most Valubale Player Awards while playing for D’Antoni with the Suns, and center Dwight Howard, to play alongside Kobe Bryant, so hopes were high. But the Lakers stumbled out the gate, going 1-4, a start which cost Brown his job.
The Lakers have since won two straight, to improve to 3-4.