There will be no moments of Zen on the Staples Center sidelines.
Phil Jackson won't be coming out of retirement for a third stint as Lakers coach, as the team hired Mike D'Antoni late Sunday night.
Jackson was the front-runner at least, until he sat down with Lakers executive vice president Jim Buss and general manager Mitch Kupchak on Saturday to discuss the job. Jackson reportedly asked for a salary greater than $10 million per season, a reduced travel schedule, and a say in both personnel decisions and picking his successor.
He might as well have demanded a deal with DirecTV.
Yes, the Zen Master has 11 NBA championship rings; D'Antoni has never even been to the Finals.
Yet Buss and Kupchak made the right move at this time for this team.
The Lakers struggled trying to learn former coach Mike Brown's Princeton offense; Jackson's system would've become the Bermuda Triangle, as only Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Metta World Peace were familiar with his schemes.
Injured point guard Steve Nash, who might return to the lineup Friday when D'Antoni likely makes his debut on the bench, won two MVP awards in D'Antoni's up-tempo system in Phoenix. If you thought Nash to Amare Stoudemire on the pick-and-roll was the closest thing to Stockton-and-Malone you've ever seen, just wait for Dwight Howard to take feeds in the post.
As for Bryant?
He said "you know how I feel about Phil," when asked about the chance to reunite with Jackson, whom he won five titles with.
But Bryant also said he'd be in favor of D'Antoni, whom he watched play for Olimpia Milano when growing up in Italy and played for on Team USA (D'Antoni was an assistant coach).
When D'Antoni coached in Denver, Phoenix and New York, Bryant good-naturedly trash-talked him in Italian when running down the court after making baskets.
Arrivederci, Phil. It's D'Antoni's time.