LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Lakers hired Mike D’Antoni late Sunday night, signing the former coach of the Suns and Knicks to replace Mike Brown.
The Lakers and D’Antoni’s agent, Warren LeGarie, confirmed the deal two days after the Lakers fired Brown five games into the season.
D’Antoni agreed to a three-year deal worth $12 million, with a team option for a fourth season.
D’Antoni got the high-profile job running the 16-time NBA champions only after the club’s top brass extensively discussed the job with former Lakers coach Phil Jackson.
The 11-time NBA champion coach met with Lakers owners Jerry and Jim Buss and general manager Mitch Kupchak on Saturday to weigh a return for a third stint on Los Angeles’ bench.
The Lakers instead went with D’Antoni, a respected offensive strategist who coached Lakers point guard Steve Nash in Phoenix during the best years of their respective careers. D’Antoni was less successful during four seasons in New York, but at least restored the once-moribund Knicks to competence before resigning last March.
“Dr. (Jerry) Buss, Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak unanimously agreed that Mike was the best coach for this roster at this time,” Lakers spokesman John Black said.
The 61-year-old D’Antoni underwent knee replacement surgery earlier this month, and could be physically limited early in his tenure. Black said the Lakers aren’t certain when D’Antoni will travel to Los Angeles to begin work.
Interim coach Bernie Bickerstaff will continue running the Lakers until D’Antoni arrives. Los Angeles beat Sacramento 103-90 on Sunday night, improving to 2-0 under Bickerstaff after a 1-4 start under Brown.
The Lakers’ next game is Tuesday night against San Antonio at Staples Center.
Nash won two MVP awards while running D’Antoni’s signature up-tempo offense for the final four seasons of the coach’s five-year tenure with the Suns.
D’Antoni then coached New York to just one playoff appearance and no postseason victories. He also coached the Denver Nuggets during the lockout-shortened 1998-99 season.
Celtics 101, Bulls 95: In Chicago, Rajon Rondo had 20 points, nine rebounds and 10 assists to lead Boston to a win over Chicago.
Rondo took advantage of Bulls point guard Nate Robinson for three quarters, helping the Celtics build a 12-point lead on 56-percent shooting. He extended his streak of consecutive games with 10 or more assists to 31, the longest in the NBA since John Stockton had 37 straight between Feb. 27 to Nov. 29, 1989.
Brandon Bass led four other Celtics in double figures with 16 points as Boston held off a furious late Chicago rally to snap a five-game losing streak at the United Center. Kevin Garnett had 15 points.
Luol Deng led the Bulls with 26 points and 11 rebounds. Joakim Noah added 17 points and 11 boards and led Chicago’s fourth quarter rally with nine points.
Bucks 105, 76ers 96: In Philadelphia, Brandon Jennings scored 33 points and Monta Ellis had 18 to lead Milwaukee to a win over Philadelphia.
The Bucks improved to 3-0 on the road for the first time since they won their first four in 2001-02. Jennings and Ellis combined to make 20 of 41 shots with 10 rebounds and 15 assists. Mike Dunleavy scored 13 points and the Bucks shot around 60 percent most of the game.
Jrue Holiday had 25 points and a whopping eight turnovers for the Sixers.
Jason Richardson scored 20 points and Wright had 14.
Jazz 140, Raptors 133, 3OT: In Toronto, Paul Millsap scored seven of his 34 points in the third overtime, Al Jefferson had 24 points and 17 rebounds, and Utah picked up its first road win of the season, beating Toronto.
Utah rallied after trailing by 11 in the fourth quarter, no basket bigger than Jefferson’s 3-pointer with two seconds left in regulation, a shot that bounced around the rim before falling through. It was just the second 3-pointer of Jefferson’s nine-year career. He came in 1 for 25 from 3-point range.
DeMar DeRozan matched his career high with 37 points, Jose Calderon had 20 points and 17 assists, and Amir Johnson fouled out with 11 points and 14 rebounds for the Raptors, who lost their fourth straight.
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