Lakers decided to hire Mike D’Antoni, not Phil Jackson

Phil Jackson

On Sunday, a person familiar with the situation, speaking anonymously because the deal wasn’t complete, said the Lakers were 95% certain Jackson was their choice. By game time, the certainty had dropped to 70%, and the rest quickly disappeared in the next few hours.

Jackson laughed at media reports that said he had wanted to skip road games and demanded to have final say in personnel decisions.

“There’s nothing about that,” he said. “Jimmy [Buss] and I had an agreement when I came back for the second tenure that there would be complete transparency in personnel decisions. I did bring up there were a couple things that went by me that time and I would be part and parcel of such a thing this time.”

Jackson said Kupchak told him during the late Sunday phone call that the Lakers thought D’Antoni was the best coach for the team. Kupchak, Jim Buss and Jerry Buss were not available for interviews.

– Reported by Mike Bresnahan of theĀ Los Angeles Times