Lakers hire D'Antoni as head coach

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EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – The Los Angeles Lakers have hired Mike D’Antoni as head coach, team spokesman John Black confirmed to Lakers.com on Sunday night.

Black said the team signed D’Antoni to a multi-year contract. No further details were given, but the Lakers are expected to have a press conference on Tuesday or Wednesday, according to Lakers.com.

Black told Lakers.com that team owner Dr. Jerry Buss, executive vice president Jim Buss and general manager Mitch Kupchak were unanimous in making D’Antoni their choice to replace Mike Brown, who was fired on Friday after five regular season games.

The Lakers were 2-0 with Bernie Bickerstaff acting as interim head coach, including Sunday night's victory over the Sacramento Kings.

Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash both expressed support for the idea of playing for D’Antoni. Nash played for D’Antoni in Phoenix, where he was a two-time NBA MVP in 2005 and 2006.

Bryant played for D’Antoni for Team USA, for which D’Antoni was an assistant coach.

As an NBA coach, D’Antoni is 388-339 (.534) over 10 seasons with Denver, Phoenix and New York. In Phoenix, D’Antoni teamed with Nash to employ a fast-paced, offense-oriented scheme that led the Suns to a 253-136 (.650) record over four-plus seasons. He was the NBA Coach of the Year in 2004-05.

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