When Phil Jackson received a phone call from Mitch Kupchak late on Sunday, Nov. 11 that the Los Angeles Lakers had decided to hire Mike D'Antoni to replace Mike Brown as head coach, he had an amused reaction.
"I laughed," Jackson said on Wednesday. "It was humorous to me when Mitch said that we think that Mike is a better coach for this group of guys."
Jackson had been prepared to tell Kupchak that he was interested in coaching the Lakers again.
Jackson believes the move to hire D'Antoni was made to cater to Steve Nash.
"I think it didn't happen because there was some concern how are we going to move in the right direction for this ballclub," Jackson said. "When Mitch gave me the call close to midnight on Sunday night right before I was going to give them an answer Monday morning and said, 'We've made a choice. We're going to hire Mike D'Antoni. We think he's the best coach for this group of guys.' My answer was, 'For Steve Nash, yes, I agree but for Dwight Howard, I'm not so sure.'
"In the process of thinking about how they could best use the team I think they thought first and foremost about Steve Nash and how Steve Nash was going to fit inside of an offensive system that I coach. ... I think that was a concern for them."
Jackson felt that his system would have allowed Pau Gasol and Howard to have a similar type of success as Gasol and Andrew Bynum.
Jackson claims to not be interested in coaching, but does seek a front office position in the NBA.
"I don't see myself coaching again, I really don't," Jackson said. "When I discussed this with Jeanie Buss, she said make sure you tell them that Jeanie still thinks you can coach even though you might say you're not going to coach again. Jeanie still thinks I can coach but I'm not going to go there."