Los Angeles Lakers new head coach Mike D'Antoni was shocked to find out that he got the job over Phil Jackson, according to Mike Lupica of the New York Daily News.
After reports that the Lakers' vacant head coaching position was Jackson's to turn down, everyone assumed that we'd be hearing news of Jackson's hiring on Monday morning. Everyone including D'Antoni.
"When I got the call that it was me, my first reaction was, ‘Are you serious?'" D'Antoni told Lupica.
After he rebuilt the New York Knicks and put them back on the map, the 61-year-old coach resigned and wasn't sure when or where he'd return to coaching. That return is happening in one of the most coveted head coaching jobs in the league for a storied Lakers franchise and a team that is loaded with future Hall of Famers.
"Sometimes you have to be lucky," he said on Monday morning. "Lucky or even blessed. I look back over my career, just what I've been able to do so far, and feel like nobody has been more blessed than I've been. Now this happens and I look at myself and I really do say, ‘Are you kidding me? I get to come back and coach these guys?'"
D'Antoni is expected to be officially introduced as the Lakers head coach at a press conference on Tuesday or Wednesday.