The Los Angeles Lakers’ decision to go with Mike D’Antoni rocked the basketball world, and Phil Jackson was just as surprised as anyone by the move. Per ESPN: “A league source indicated late Sunday night that Jackson was ‘stunned’ when the Lakers called to inform him they had chosen D’Antoni. He had been prepared to accept the job Monday if negotiations between his agent and the Lakers went well. Jackson’s agent Todd Musberger had been scheduled to fly in to Los Angeles on Monday Jackson and the Lakers had never spoken about a salary, the source said, ‘but he knew coaches don’t make what he used to make anymore.’ Jackson, the source said, never intended to miss any more road games than he had in his previous stints with the Lakers. ‘Phil would come back only to win and skipping games doesn’t lead to winning,’ the source said. D’Antoni, who had knee surgery at the beginning of November, hasn’t yet been cleared to travel, according to sources and ‘it’ll be a couple of days before he comes in, but he’s further along than people believe.’ There is a possibility that Bickerstaff will remain interim head coach even after D’Antoni’s introductory press conference, according to a source, if D’Antoni isn’t feeling physically able to coach games yet because of his recent knee surgery.”
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