Tuesday, November 13th, 2012 at 6:55 pm  |  37 responses

Lakers Management Explains Why They Didn’t Hire Phil Jackson

Phil Jackson has come out and said he that he felt cheated and misled by the team, a sentiment shared by many Laker fans. Today, GM Mitch Kupchak faced the media, and explained the process that led to the surprising hire of head coach Mike D’Antoni. Per the team website: “Q: On what took place with Phil Jackson: Kupchak: ‘Much has been made of the perceived agreement to wait until Monday. The actual way it took place after a basketball discussion was, ‘Where are we now?,’ and Phil said he needed more time. I asked him how much more time, and he said he’d get back to (us) on Monday. I said, ‘Phil, I have a job to do and I’m going to have to continue my search and interview candidates.’ He nodded that he understood. Maybe herein lies a little bit of the misunderstanding. As it was reported, we never offered a job, and he never indicated he would coach the team. It was a basketball discussion revolving around a lot of questions. So we did what I indicated we would do, which is when I left Phil’s house, I began discussions with Mike D’Antoni on Saturday afternoon, and we also set up an interview with another candidate for Sunday. All day Sunday, Jim and I and Dr. Buss (from another location) continued to discuss what the (best move) would be. After multiple phone calls with Mike D’Antoni on Sunday afternoon, at 5 or 6 o’clock on Sunday, we made the decision that Mike D’Antoni was going to be the next coach of the Lakers. It revolved almost completely around the personnel that we have on the team and the style of play we saw going forward for the team. Of course we took into consideration a structured offense, which is what we went through with Mike Brown. We looked at our personnel – without going into great detail, some of our guys I don’t think would be successful in the triangle, (and) some of our new players might take a long time to learn the triangle. So we decided Mike would (be the coach).’ Q: On calling Phil Jackson at midnight to relay the decision: Kupchak: ‘Our feeling was, the worst thing we can do – since we already made our decision – was to wait until Monday. I could (have) gotten a call from Phil on Monday morning saying he thought about it, and he would like to be the coach and let’s start negotiations. To say at the point that we’d decided to go in a different direction, our feeling was that would be even worse than what we did on Sunday night. Our feeling was there was no agreement to wait for (Jackson’s) response on Monday. He told us that’s when he would get back to us. I could see where he might interpret that as ‘You guys would wait for me,’ but I thought when I said I had to interview other candidates it was clear that we had a job to do. I could have waited until Monday morning to call Phil – I didn’t look forward to calling somebody at midnight to tell him he’s not going to get a job he might or might not accept, but the only other thing I could do was wait until Monday morning and that would have been worse, because (the news had gotten out).’ [...] Q: On what was discussed in the meeting with Jackson: Kupchak: ‘There was no discussion of salary in the meeting. I don’t know why there would be. The job wasn’t offered, and he didn’t say he wanted the job. We touched briefly on personnel input, which he would hope that he’d have more input. And we talked about the rigors of travel in the NBA. But there was no demands or in depth discussion about missing games. Missing games because of travel was not discussed.’ [...] Had Phil Jackson expressed definitive interest to take the job during the Saturday meeting, Kupchak said he and Jim Buss would have ‘immediately’ huddled with Dr. Buss, and ‘decided what we were going to do.’ When that didn’t happen, Kupchak called two other candidates, starting with Mike D’Antoni, and became more and more convinced as they spoke to D’Antoni further. Kupchak said that ultimately, they had to ‘come to grips with’ saying no to Phil Jackson, which was not easy, especially since there was such a groundswell of support for the Hall of Famer, even extending to chants during games.”

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  • LeroyShonuff

    They should just say “Listen with this current roster and the direction of the League and the team moving forward, we believe Mike is the best choice”. Now we all know that is bull, but it would be logical and kill the charade. They should of have hired Rick Alderman last year and they wouldn’t even be in this mess. Or Just got Jerry Sloan which is a better hire than Mike anyway. But their the Lakers and somehow this is not gonna effect them long term

  • Redd

    It’s damage control, he can’t lie either because Phil would give’em the uppercut, so he uses a small window to hopefully calm fans.

  • roscoe

    the more momentum this saga has earned it hit me that this could be more about Jeanie Buss & Jimmy Buss’ sibling rivalry.

  • The Seed

    Phil was done wrong, no matter what. Cupcake know this and Jim Buss needs to be relieved of all duties dealing with LA.

  • Caboose

    I sincerely doubt Rick would go to LA given that he’s been a part of TWO rivalries against the Lakers.

  • Dymez

    It was a ‘pride’ thing. Jax wanted the money, the power, work when he wants to, and make Kupchak wait for his decision (which would have been a yes), because he wanted to enjoy the rest of that weekend; sitting on the back porch dropping peyote, smoking weed, all while getting head from Jeanie. Mitch just didn’t wanna let Phil walk all over him.

  • http://www.facebook.com/natgeo02 Neitel Agosto

    I agree!!!
    The personnel in charge of the lakers are the nba worst right now, second is the cavs owner (lebron got a ‘chip before your dumb cavs, how about that for your evil promises dan!!) and third, personnel during michael jordan’s time with the bulls, I think they were the reason the bulls split up, those people broke up the bulls in 1998. Lakers are bad at making choices…seriously, mike d’antoni, the one who popped smoke when things got bad in New york? then he had the nerve to be an assistan coach for the USA basketball team in london. He might have great chemistry with nash, but even THAT doesn’t guarantee you can just take the ‘chip from the Heat…they are truly contenders for a back to back finals champs!

  • Sergio

    The lakers won 5 chips in the past decade. 5. When the heat win 2 in the same decade then they can be compared to the lakers.

  • Jimmy

    the heat did win 2 in the same decade….

  • robb

    Are you kidding me? they decided for D’Antoni sunday afternoon at 6 o’clock but they couldn’t wait less than 24 hours for Phil? even when they already knew he was interested? Obviously Phil wasn’t going to get super excited when he was offered the job, I mean he’s the Zen Master, he has eleven rings, he’s the one who was going to save your @sses, he’s not some new coach who will start jumping and thanking you for the opportunity you idiots. F*** you.

  • spit hot fiyah

    a decade is usually defined as from 0 to 9, but if u mean within 10 years then yes

  • Drig’r

    The decade doesn’t start from ’06………

  • http://www.facebook.com/shooting.guard.319 Shooting Guard

    seems like mind games to me, come on phil if you really wanted the job you could’ve said yes when boy buss came to see you

  • Larry Sportello

    Back in the sixties I developed a way to make text easier to read, which I called a “paragraph”…

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    so basically exactly what i said.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    he was actually open to the job before he signed with Minnesota.

  • bike

    Truth be told, the discussions broke down when Phil insisted that the first thing he wanted to do is make Dwight read Who Moved my Cheese.

  • LeroyShonuff

    only fans care about rivalries sir. To everybody else it’s a job. And the Lakers are the best coaching Job in sports

  • http://twitter.com/Jzakoni Sanchez

    lol i was thinking the same thing

  • Zeke 44


  • Gandalf 47

    I though Kupchack explained why they felt Phil was not the best fit for this team in the short term. I love Phil and all he has done for the Lakers, but it’s time to look forward. This team can win while Kobe is still here, but that may not be much longer (I hope not), and D. Howard is going to be the stud around which they will win in the future. If Phil had wanted the job, what was there to think about? He is close with Jeannie Buss, and he had to know the score. If Phil felt that he was owed the time to mull it over, and Mitch told him they were still “in the hunt” for a coach, then maybe Phil made a miscalculation. Anyway, what’s done is done, and bitching about it isn’t going to win any games. Once Nash is back, and they have had time to play as a unit, I think things will be fine. As long as they are in the top four seeds in the West and have momentum going into the playoffs, they will be fine.

  • Gandalf47

    I have felt that way all along.

  • shirleye jamerson

    did i hear phil was smoking weed while getting head from jeanie???????

  • Onealone

    I was glad that Phil Jackson did step down. Mike Brown was doing much more going after the players when they fowled up. Phil Jackson on the other hand would just sit on his high cushion chair and watch the Laker’s blow their big lead down to nothing without doing anything. I hope Mike D’Antoni will get on the players when he has to. Phil Jackson retired and should have stayed retired. It was too much for him to travel so much.
    Pau Gasol can do much better. Now with Dwight Howard and Steve Nash and Kobr the Lakers should win it this season.

  • http://www.facebook.com/chuck.armendariz Chuck Armendariz


  • Genesis Thomas

    There is two sides to every story and in the middle lies the truth…I believe Phil…So let’s hope the Lakers didn’t burn their bridges in case this new Coach doesn’t work out!! Why wait this long to come up with “why you didn’t hire Phil”. Just tell the truth you didn’t want the triangle offense..but remember that offense brought “Rings” :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/jay.brodes Jay Brodes

    i think this interview after the aftermath of where la is on the court is a CYA right now. nothing more and nothing less. this could where the cross lies. pj was under the impression he had til monday…kupchak did not offer the job and was not waiting til monday but wanted to talk to phil to gauge interest! media ran with it..nuff said!

  • http://www.facebook.com/jahn.mathis Jahn Mathis

    sadly im pretty sure your spot on haha


    “the bottom line……5 rings with the lakers

  • Carole Gordon

    If the Buss was on the up and up, he would’ve talked to Antonia, waited for Phil’s “yea” or “nay” and if it was a “nay”, offered the job to Antonia. That’s what you call above the board negotiations.

  • Carole Gordon

    You may be right, Little Jimmy wants to prove he’s the better decision maker!

  • tedy

    the more explanation the more this don’t make sense….stop the issue the damage had been done….admit so it can be fix!

  • Bbsqrd22

    Do not believe everything you read in the papers. Neither Buss or Phil ever said that to anyone in public. I still believe that Phil would have been the best decision. Check the Lakers record. But Jim Buss ego got in the way. Phil has been a champion and “No Defense” D’antoni has been fired from his last two jobs and has never won a championship. You say that Mitch made because of ego, Yeah his. And at the expense of the team.

  • chris

    almost the end of the season and hind sight is approaching.. dumbest decision ever not to wait on Phill

  • chris

    so 2 decades is only 18 years?? dont think so

  • http://twitter.com/JHyoBeat Joon Hyo Suh

    You need to count the 0

  • BB

    Paragraphs! Use them.