The Lakers spent the entire weekend flirting with Phil Jackson, and come Monday morning they made it official. The Lakers are hiring... Mike D'Antoni? If the news caught most of the basketball world off guard, you can include Phil Jackson in that group, as well.
As ESPN's Ramona Shelbourne and Chris Broussard report, Jackson was "stunned" when the Lakers informed him that they'd chosen to hire D'Antoni. He was under the impression that the L.A. job was his to turn down before anyone else accepts. Apparently not.
While Jackson was always a front-runner for the job, it appears he was sharing that title with D'Antoni. And as Jackson came with more demands for control over basketball personnel and possibly even an ownership stake, the Lakers were just as concerned with which of the coaches gave them the best chance to win this season.
Given Jackson's loyalty to the triangle offense, it appears that L.A.'s front office decided the Lakers would make a quicker adjustment under D'Antoni.
Or maybe Phil was just asking for too much power.
In any case, the choice has been made, and it seems the Lakers chose not to go with Phil, not the other way around. As the story develops in the next few days, you can be sure we'll hear plenty more about how that choice happened. Until then? Mike D'Antoni is the Lakers choice, and the most successful NBA coach of all time remains retired in Montana.