The decision to bypass Phil Jackson and hire Mike D’Antoni came from Los Angeles Lakers patriarch Jerry Buss, according to a source.
The elder Buss is no longer involved in day-to-day affairs and has transferred many of his former responsibilities to his son, Jim.
"Make no mistake about it, Jerry Buss made the final call on firing Mike Brown, passing over Jackson and ultimately deciding on D'Antoni," confirmed an NBA source who requested anonymity. "The management structure is a democracy up to a certain point; but when something very big comes up, Jerry makes the decision.
"That's not to say he overrules his guys all the time -- he doesn't. But if he disagrees, he uses his veto power to do what is in the best interests of his organization. He's overruled Kupchak and he even went against Jerry West sometimes. They would have animated discussions, and Dr. Buss would listen, then sometimes do what he wanted."