In an update to Phil Jackson's autobiography, he outlines how talks to return to the Los Angeles Lakers in November of 2012 unraveled.
Jackson was intrigued by the possibility of going after one more ring with Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol now that the Lakers had also acquired Dwight Howard and Steve Nash.
"I was thinking of the job as a one-season gig, but Jimmy (Buss) and Mitch (Kupchak) were looking for a coach who could help them rebuild the team over the long haul," writes Jackson. "They were also eager to turn the Lakers back into the sort of fast-paced, high-scoring team they were in the Magic Johnson “Showtime” era — and (Mike) D’Antoni was certainly a coach who could make that happen.
"The overriding issue, however, was the state of owner Jerry Buss’s health. He’d been in and out of the hospital during the previous several months battling prostate cancer and other ailments. But things had taken a turn for the worse recently, and his family hoped that a turn in the Lakers’ fortunes might bring some joy into his life and, with luck, help speed his recovery.
"Several weeks later, the story came out that Dr. Buss, not Jimmy, had made the decision to go with D’Antoni. This seemed unlikely to me given the state of Jerry’s health — not to mention, Jimmy’s long history of impetuous decision-making — but it was impossible to verify that story one way or the other. In the end, it didn’t matter that much anyway. I was ready to move on."