If you would have polled 1,600 random people on Friday night about who was going to be the new Lakers coach, Phil Jackson would have been the overwhelming choice. My dad even emailed me about it, and that’s how you know it’s serious.
But then, out of almost nowhere, we all wake up and Mike D’Antoni is the mustachioed coach who was picked to lead the Lakers to the promised land. And the reason, at least according to my friend Multiple Sources, was that Phil Jackson wanted way too much of everything in order to take over his old team. From the Los Angeles Times:
Jackson was the overwhelming favorite to return to the Lakers until they heard his informal demands, which included a stake in team ownership, according to a person familiar with the situation.
“He was asking for the moon,” said the person, who also declined to be identified because they are not authorized to discuss the situation.
You know, fair enough. If the Lakers think it’s smarter to hire a somewhat cheaper coach while still paying out the contract of the guy they just fired, then I get that. And if Phil Jackson was seriously asking for a piece of ownership, then I totally get it. That’s a lot of control to give up to a guy who kind of just quits out of nowhere sometimes.
However, four superstars being coached by a coach who excels at coaching superstars does make a lot of sense. Pretty much the most sense possible, actually. Which is why Phil Jackson’s demands must have been totally crazy for the Lakers to offer the job to Mike D’Antoni. Amazingly, TBJ found and transcribed the informal list that Jackson submitted to the Lakers’ braintrust. Here’s what we found.
- A stake in team ownership.
- A steak dinner with the team’s owner’s daughter, paid for by the team owner (apps and zerts included).
- Small private jet. Nothing fancy, just a free private jet to fly places.
- Golden toilet.
- Complimentary membership in Jam of the Month club.
- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s jacket.
- Courtside seats for his advisor, Hungry Bear.
- Facial hair consultation session with Lou Adler.
- One free No. 19 from Langer’s Deli a week.
- All of the peyote. All of it.
- An even taller chair on the bench.
- “I don’t care how you do it, but I need Luke and Derek back.”
- One forum blue top hat with a gold ribbon.
- Team-sanctioned meet and greet with Jemaine Clement of “Flight of the Conchords” to determine once and for all whether they do or don’t look like father and son.
- Adamantium hip implants.
As you can see, he really did ask the Lakers for quite a bit. I mean, where do you even find enough adamantium to make an entire human hip? It might come back to bite them in the end, but it’s certainly understandable why so it’s easy to see why the Lakers would turn him down. In this economy? Come on. Feel free to add your own requests in the comments.