LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The Los Angeles Lakers introduced new head coach Mike D’Antoni at a news conference on Thursday afternoon.
Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak introduced D’Antoni after the team’s practice in El Segundo.
D’Antoni was hired by the Lakers organization late Sunday night over former skipper and 11-time NBA championship winner, Phil Jackson.
Laker great Magic Johnson spoke his mind Wednesday on ESPN on the hiring of D’Antoni after staying quiet for several days.
Magic believes the Lakers should have listened to fans and Jackson.
“The reason I haven’t tweeted in 2 days is because I’ve been mourning Phil Jackson not being hired as the Lakers head coach,” Johnson tweeted Wednesday. “My mother always taught me that if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”
He claims the Lakers have made “two critical mistakes” that Jim Buss is responsible for.
“First, hiring Mike Brown. He wasn’t the right coach. He’s a great coach but not the right coach for the Lakers,” Magic said on NBA Countdown. “And I don’t feel Mike D’Antoni is the right coach for the Lakers now, especially when you have Phil Jackson sitting out there who wanted to be the Laker coach.”
“I love Dr. (Jerry) Buss. I don’t believe in Jim Buss,” Magic added.
Either way, Kupchak went with D’Antoni’s high-paced and pick-and-roll style over Jackson’s complex triangle.
Mike Brown was fired Friday after a disappointing 1-4 start to the season.
D’Antoni arrived in Los Angeles Wednesday and met with his new boss at an undisclosed hotel.
He signed a three-year, $12 million deal with the Lakers. D’Antoni’s contract also includes a team option for a fourth season.