During an interview on ESPN “Mike & Mike in the Morning” show this past Wednesday morning, arguably the greatest NBA coach of all-time Phil Jackson, discussed the events that went down which led to the Los Angeles Lakers choosing head coach Mike D’antoni over Phil (who at the time was willing to comeback and coach again).
“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.’
“They wanted to move to a quicker, 3-point-oriented game, which is kind of the rage right now in the NBA,” Jackson said. “I felt like with Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard we could emulate a lot of what we did with Andrew Bynum and Pau and pound the ball inside and have an interior game that was strong. But it was their choice, and that’s all right with me.
“It was OK with me if that’s what they wanted to do. In fact, there was a little part of me that felt relief in not having to strap it up and make the decision and get on the road. I think it was only five games into the year, so we still had 77 games left to go in that season.”
The Zen Master has repeatedly said to everyone that he no longer has any interest to come back and coach again. It’s hard to take Phil’s word on it with the way things are shaping up involving his personal life and the Lakers organization.
It was easy to tell the Lakers front office to basically shove it after they insulted you by picking D’antoni, but when you are going to be married to Jeanie Buss(daughter of the late Jerry Buss) who is taking over basketball operations of the team, I’m pretty sure he may have a change of heart in the near future.