Mike D’Antoni Was Surprised He Was Hired Over Phil Jackson
(NEW YORK) — The Los Angeles Lakers stunned the basketball world when they chose Mike D’Antoni as their new head coach instead of Phil Jackson. As it turns out, D’Antoni was even surprised he got the job himself.
D’Antoni told the New York Daily News that Jackson was a shoe-in for the job and was surprised to hear that he instead was awarded the position. He was always in the running for the job, but assumed it would go to Jackson.
“Sure I did,” D’Antoni told the paper. “For sure I did. Didn’t everybody? When I go the call that it was me, my first reaction was, ‘Are you serious?'”
D’Antoni was most recently with the New York Knicks before he resigned last year due to the team under achieving. Now, he gets a chance to reunite with point guard Steve Nash, whom he coached when the two were in Phoenix.
“To get one more chance to have him run the thing the way he did for me before (in Phoenix) well, that’s the kind of thing you never think is going to happen. But not it has,” D’Antoni told the Daily News.
As a head coach, D’Antoni has gone 388-339 with the Nuggets, Suns, and Knicks.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio