Lakers Management Passes on Phil Jackson

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Getty Images
    Phil Jackson

    On Sunday night, the Los Angeles Lakers disappointed fans by choosing Mike D'Antoni over Phil Jackson.

    By Monday morning, reports began to surface that Phil Jackson was ready to accept the position after he was originally told the job was his to turn down. He had reportedly planned on sending his agent to negotiate with the Lakers on Monday, but the Lakers never give him that chance. Why?

    The rush to sign Mike D'Antoni prior to Phil Jackson having a chance to accept the job appears to be a political move on the part of the Buss family.

    To say that they were in a rush to fill the vacancy has little value when considering that the Lakers have won two in a row while on interim status.

    Also, D'Antoni is not expected to arrive in Los Angeles until Wednesday, and his recovery from a knee operation remains a hurdle in taking over full control.

    Consequently, there was no good reason the Lakers could not at least negotiate with Jackson on Monday, hear his demands, and possibly decide against hiring the 11-time NBA Champion if his demands were too great. That never happened though.

    After Jackson met with Lakers top management on Saturday, top sources all claimed that no salary was discussed, and Phil had the job if he wanted it. Then, over the next two days, there were reports that Phil Jackson was asking for too much.

    However, the negotiations were not even set to commence until Monday, and the D'Antoni option was hardly going anywhere. Something just didn't add up.

    Ultimately, the Lakers organization seemed to have met with the greatest coach in NBA history as a gesture to the fans who desperately screamed for Phil Jackson to come back.

    When reports began to emerge that Jackson was actually ready to accept the position, the Lakers quickly contacted D'Antoni -- who was not in talks with any other team -- and ended the matter before fans had a chance to hear that Phil Jackson wanted to come back.

    Arguments about whether the triangle would be best for this team or whether these players could learn it fast enough are moot points when looking at the last couple wins since Mike Brown was fired. There have been elements of the triangle all over the court with Kobe Bryant coaching players into spots.

    Along with Kobe, the trio of Pau Gasol, Steve Blake and Metta World Peace all played under Jackson in the triangle. After the win against Sacramento, Dwight Howard even revealed that his high school team played in the triangle and won the championship that year.

    Mike D'Antoni may end up being a good choice over the next couple years, but no matter how this hire ends up being spun, the Lakers just passed up the greatest coach in NBA history without even attempting to negotiate.