(CNN) — After ousting its coach days into the new season, the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday announced the hiring of Mike D’Antoni to lead the talented NBA team.
Media reports had suggested that Phil Jackson would return to the Lakers, whom he’d previously led to five of his record-setting 11 league championships as a head coach. Instead, Los Angeles chose to bring in D’Antoni, who has coached the Denver Nuggets, Phoenix Suns and New York Knicks over 10 seasons.
“Knowing his style of play and given the current make-up of our roster, we feel Mike is a great fit, are excited to have him as our next head coach, and hope he will help our team reach its full potential,” general manager Mitch Kupchak said in a press release.
After the team opened this season with one win and four losses, Lakers management fired Mike Brown, the former Cavaliers coach who had succeeded Jackson before the start of the 2011-2012 season. The squad has won its last two games under interim coach Bernie Bickerstaff.
The hiring reunites D’Antoni with Steve Nash, the two-time league MVP he coached while both were with the Suns. Other stars on the Lakers roster include six-time NBA titlist Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard, who came over from the Orlando Magic in the off-season.
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