The Lakers Didn't Hire Phil Jackson Because Of His Unusual Demands

Photo: AP Images

The Lakers hired Mike D’Antoni last night in a move that stunned everyone in the basketball world, including Phil Jackson.Jackson was the heavy favourite to land the job, and had even been prepared to accept the position today if talks went well.

But according to the LA Times, it was Jackson’s demands that ultimately made the Lakers pick D’Antoni.

“He was asking for the moon,” an unnamed source told the LA Times.

So what does the moon look like?

Here are the rumoured demands that came out over the weekend.

  • A small stake in ownership, according to the LA Times. The terms were not specified.
  • Complete personnel control. According to Ric Bucher of CSN Bay Area, Jackson wanted executive VP Jim Buss to give up control of basketball operations.
  • He wanted Brian Shaw and Scottie Pippen on his coaching staff. Shaw is currently an assistant with the Pacers, and is widely considered one of the best assistants in the league. It’s unclear what it would have taken to bring him to LA.
  • He wanted travel restrictions, including allowing assistants to coach games and run shootarounds, according to Marc Spears of Yahoo!. An ESPN report this morning said Phil never intended to skip any more road games than he did in past years, however.
  • He would have earned a lot more than D’Antoni. ESPN says salary was never discussed, but Jackson may have earned somewhere around $10 million per year, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! mentioned in a column over the weekend. D’Antoni will make $4 million per year.

It’s a lot. But is it too much for one of the best NBA coaches ever?

The Lakers have a ton of money committed to this team, and they have to win now. It seems inconsistent to splurge on Steve Nash and Dwight Howard, but draw the line at some unusual demands for Phil Jackson.

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