Magic Johnson 'mourning' Lakers' decision to not hire Phil Jackson
As evidenced by the "We want Phil!" chants at the Staples Center on Sunday, many Lakers fans hoped the team would hire 11-time champion Phil Jackson rather than Mike D'Antoni as head coach after firing Mike Brown last week. Apparently, Hall of Fame point guard Magic Johnson was among those fans.
Johnson, who won five titles with the Lakers in the 1980s, expressed his disappointment in a tweet on Wednesday afternoon:
Johnson had previously taken to Twitter on Sunday to dispel rumors that he was involved in the decision-making process, stating that he had not spoken to the Lakers' front office about firing Brown.
On Tuesday, general manager Mitch Kupchak said that he viewed D'Antoni's style as "more suited" for the team's personnel than Jackson's, and that Jackson's reportedly lofty contract demands did not play a role in the decision. D'Antoni and Lakers point guard Steve Nash won more than 50 games in four straight seasons while with the Phoenix Suns, and their close relationship was likely a major factor in the hiring. After losing to the Spurs on Tuesday night, Los Angeles sits near the bottom of the Western Conference with a 3-5 record.