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Mike D'Antoni to coach Lakers

Nov. 12, 2012 at 7:16 AM   |   Comments

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LOS ANGELES, Nov. 12 (UPI) -- Mike D'Antoni will replace Mike Brown as coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, the NBA team announced.

Lakers spokesman John Black, in a release on the team's website, confirmed that D'Antoni agreed to a multiyear contract. The team is expected to have a news conference early this week to introduce D'Antoni.

Lakers owner Jerry Buss, Executive Vice President Jim Buss and General Manager Mitch Kupchak agreed that D'Antoni was the best coach for the team at this time, Black said.

The announcement late Sunday that D'Antoni would lead the Lakers ended a whirlwind weekend that started Friday, with the Lakers firing Brown just five games into the season. Rumors circulated that former Lakers Coach Phil Jackson would return to the team.

The Lakers' announcement said Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash expressed support for playing for D'Antoni. Nash, in his first year in Los Angeles, played for D'Antoni in Phoenix.

The Lakers will be D'Antoni's fifth NBA head coaching position. He coached the Denver Nuggets in 1998-99 and the Portland Trail Blazers from 2000-01. He was with Phoenix from 2003-08 and the New York Knicks from 2008-12. D'Antoni resigned from the New York position last March when the team was 18-24.

D'Antoni's accumulative coaching record is 388-339. He twice took the Suns to the Western Conference Finals.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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