The Los Angeles Lakers have reportedly found their next head coach, and it won't be Phil Jackson. The Lakers have signed Mike D'Antoni to a four-year contract to replace Mike Brown, per Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times.
The report, which was echoed by J.A. Adande of ESPN and Marc J. Spears of Yahoo!, came as a bit of a curve ball, as the Lakers had a very public courting of Jackson, their former coach with whom the team won five NBA championships. Jackson, who retired after the 2010-2011 season, was "asking for the moon" to return to Los Angeles, per a Bresnahan source.
D'Antoni, 61, resigned as head coach of the New York Knicks after an 18-24 start last season. He coached the Phoenix Suns for five seasons from 2004-2008, and made the playoffs four times, including a trip to the Western Conference Finals in 2006. Lakers point guard Steve Nash won two MVP awards under D'Antoni, and on Sunday expressed his admiration for his former coach.
"Obviously everyone knows how much I love Mike," Nash told Arash Markazi of ESPN LA. "If he were the coach it would be seamless and terrific for me and for the team as well. These are things that will be decided pretty soon so there's not much point speculating."
Nothing has yet been announced by the Lakers.