Phil Jackson released a statement Monday that said he was awakened at midnight Sunday by a phone call from Los Angeles Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak and told that Mike D’Antoni had been hired as coach.
Jackson said he met with Kupchak and Lakers executive Jim Buss for 90 minutes on Saturday, during which no contract issues were discussed. His statement implies that his next contact with the team was Kupchak’s call.
From Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times: “Saturday morning, Jim Buss called to ask if he could come and visit. I didn’t solicit or ask for the opportunity but I welcomed both him and Mitch Kupchak into my home to discuss the possibility of my return to the Lakers as head coach. We talked for over an hour and a half. No contractual terms were discussed and we concluded with a handshake and an understanding that I would have until Monday to come back to them with my decision. I did convey to them that I did have the confidence that I could do the job.