Phil Jackson was blindsided, and so were we.
We know D'Antoni was atop the Lakers' wish list on Friday morning after the firing of Mike Brown, but with the understanding that Jackson had no interest in coaching again.
The Lakers checked with Jackson, as the "We want Phil" chants Friday night at Staples Center suggested there was no other clear choice.
The Lakers called Jackson on Saturday morning and a few hours later he was meeting with Jim and Mitch. They talked assistant coaches, trainer and past relationships.
Jackson was obviously interested in the job, which prompted the Lakers' brass to let the basketball world know it was 95%-5% that Jackson was returning.
Jackson asked for the weekend to ponder his possible return.
In the 24 hours that followed, the media went wacko.
We heard Jackson was asking for a piece of the team. We heard he wanted anywhere from $10 million to $15 million a year. We heard he didn't want to coach games played away from Staples Center.
We heard Jackson wanted more control in the front office.
Now there are indications none of it came up in conversations with the Lakers' brass.
The Lakers also made phone contact with D'Antoni on Saturday, maintaining they needed a backup plan in case Jackson lacked the energy to coach again.
By Sunday afternoon the Lakers were calling it "70-30" that Jackson would return, with almost nothing happening but the passage of time.
So what happened?
The Lakers aren't saying, but instead of negotiating with Jackson, the Unanimous Three devoted their attention to D'Antoni. They apparently concluded he was the better choice.
If so, I've now heard it all.
If the majority opinion around here is Jim Buss is clueless, what does that make Jerry Buss and Kupchak if they are unanimous in such decision making? They think D'Antoni is a better choice than Jackson? It's understandable now why they are in hiding, obviously unable to keep straight faces.
If Jackson isn't available, then D'Antoni is as good as it gets with what is available. At the very least he brings some pizzazz back to Staples, and how boring have the Lakers been the last few years?
It's certainly going to be fun to see if he can get a team of old men to run like they did when they were young. I guess all that talk about going easy on players like Steve Nash and Kobe Bryant to save them for the playoffs goes away now.