While there has been a great deal of speculation that Phil Jackson's lengthy list of demands led to the Lakers offering the head coaching job to Mike D'Antoni instead, a statement released from Jackson today tells a different tale. Jackson says that after meeting with executive Jim Buss and General Manager Mitch Kupchak on Saturday, he was offered the position and told that he would have until today to decide.
"No contractual terms were discussed and we concluded with a hand shake and an understanding that I would have until [today] to come back to them with my decision…I was awakened at midnight on Sunday by a phone call from [Kupchak]. He told me that the Lakers had signed Mike D’Antoni to a three-year agreement and that they felt he was the best coach for the team," said Jackson.
Jackson concluded the statement by expressing gratitude to the Lakers fans for their groundswell of support, calling it the "principal reason" why he considered making a return. Based on the tone of the Hall of Famer's statement, it would appear that he was leaning heavily towards accepting the job in Los Angeles.