The former New York Knicks head coach, D’Antoni, signed a three-year contract for $12 million dollars late Sunday night. Formers Lakers coach Phil Jackson was considered the favorite for the job. However, according to Marc Spears, Jackson wanted “greater personnel control, a relaxed travel schedule and a two-year contract that would pay him at least $10 million a season.”
D’Antoni should have no problem adapting his well known up-tempo offense to the current Lakers roster. The Lakers hiring of D’Antoni reunites him with his former Phoenix Suns point guard Steve Nash, where the two reached the Western Conference Finals in 2005 and 2006. D’Antoni also coached with the New York Knicks where he went 121-167 in three seasons.
D’Atoni and Kobe Bryant are rumored to have a good relationship. This relationship dates back to when Kobe grew up in Italy and idolized D’Antoni when he played. The two were also a part of the USA Olympic basketball team.
Interim coach, Bernie Bickerstaff, who has won his first 2 games with the Lakers, will be the coach until D’Antoni is back from a November replacement knee surgery. The Lakers next play Tuesday against the Spurs.