Lakers Pass on Phil Jackson, Hire Mike D'Antoni as Coach

Former New York Knicks and Phoenix Suns coach Mike D'Antoni will sign a multi-year deal with the Los Angeles Lakers, according to reports.

Mike D'Antoni will be the next coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, the Los Angeles Times reports.

D'Antoni, who coached the New York Knicks last season and the Phoenix Suns earlier, signed a three-year deal for $12 million, with the team holding an option for a fourth year, according to the Times.

The Lakers will announce the new coach at a news conference as early as Tuesday but more likely later this week, the Times reports.

"We signed Mike D'Antoni to a multi-year deal," Lakers spokesman John Black is quoted as saying. "Dr [Jerry] Buss, Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak were unanimous that Mike D'Antoni was the best coach for the team at the time."

D'Antoni is expected to take over the Lakers within a week or two, depending on how quickly he recovers from knee replacement surgery, the Times reports.

Phil Jackson had been the favorite to coach the Lakers until the team learned his demands, which included a stake in ownership, according to an unnamed source cited by the Times.

Bernie Bickerstaff will remain interim coach for now. 


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