The Los Angeles Lakers surprised the basketball world with the hiring of Mike D'Antoni as their new coach.
D'Antoni replaces Mike Brown, who was fired Friday.
The Lakers signed D'Antoni to a multi-year deal but did not release the terms of the contract. However, it is believed to be for three years and worth $12 million.
"After speaking with several excellent and well-respected coaching can-didates, (owner) Dr. (Jerry) Buss, (ex-ecutive vice president) Jim (Buss) and I all agreed that Mike was the right person at this time to lead the Lakers forward," general manager Mitch Kupchak said in a release.
"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."
Former Lakers coach Phil Jackson was also a candidate for the job. Jackson won five titles with the Lakers in two previous coaching stints with the team. He reportedly sought several contract demands, including organizational power, restricted travel and upfront money.
However, ESPN reported that Jackson didn't make any special demands and that the Lakers simply felt D'Antoni was a better fit for their current roster. Jackson was "stunned" when informed by the Lakers, according to the report, as he believed it was "his job to turn down."
ESPN analyst Kurt Rambis, a former Lakers player who served as an assistant under Jackson, said Jackson made no salary or travel restrictions.
"It's a process with Phil," Rambis said. "He goes through an entire mental process of envisioning the season and how to get the team to the NBA Finals. It's about winning for him, not just whether he wants to coach."
D'Antoni is known for his preference for his innovative, fast-pace of-fense, while Jackson features the more technical triangle offense.
D'Antoni coached point guard Steve Nash when the two were with the Phoenix Suns. He has a 388-339 record in 10 seasons coaching the Denver Nuggets, Suns and New York Knicks. He stepped down as Knicks coach during last season.
Brown was fired five games into his second season as the Lakers coach. The team made the move after starting off 1-4. Bernie Bickerstaff coached the Lakers to a blowout win over the Golden State Warriors on Friday and moved to 3-4 after beating the Sacramento Kings 103-90 on Sunday.
D'Antoni makes his Lakers debut Tuesday against the visiting San Antonio Spurs.