"I have no intention of ever coaching again."
— Phil Jackson
"Much has been made of the perceived agreement to wait until Monday. The actual way it took place after a basketball discussion was, ‘Where are we now?,’ and Phil said he needed more time. I asked him how much more time, and he said he’d get back to (us) on Monday. I said, ‘Phil, I have a job to do and I’m going to have to continue my search and interview candidates.’ He nodded that he understood. Maybe herein lies a little bit of the misunderstanding. As it was reported, we never offered a job, and he never indicated he would coach the team. It was a basketball discussion revolving around a lot of questions. So we did what I indicated we would do, which is when I left Phil’s house, I began discussions with Mike D’Antoni on Saturday afternoon, and we also set up an interview with another candidate for Sunday. All day Sunday, Jim and I and Dr. Buss (from another location) continued to discuss what the (best move) would be. After multiple phone calls with Mike D’Antoni on Sunday afternoon, at 5 or 6 o’clock on Sunday, we made the decision that Mike D’Antoni was going to be the next coach of the Lakers. It revolved almost completely around the personnel that we have on the team and the style of play we saw going forward for the team. Of course we took into consideration a structured offense, which is what we went through with Mike Brown. We looked at our personnel – without going into great detail, some of our guys I don’t think would be successful in the triangle, (and) some of our new players might take a long time to learn the triangle. So we decided Mike would (be the coach)."
— Mitch Kupchak on what took place with Phil Jackson
Saturday morning, Jim Buss, called to ask if he could come and visit. I did not solicit or ask for the opportunity, but I welcomed both he and Mitch Kupchak into my home to discuss the possibility of my return to the Lakers as the head coach. We talked for over an hour and a half.
No contractual terms were discussed and we concluded with a hand shake and an understanding that I would have until Monday (today) to come back to them with my decision. I did convey to them that I did have the confidence that I could do the job.
I was awakened at midnight on Sunday by a phone call from Mitch Kupchak. He told me that the Lakers had signed Mike D’Antoni to a 3-year agreement and that they felt he was the best coach for the team. The decision is of course theirs to make. I am gratified by the groundswell of support from the Laker Fans who endorsed my return and it is the principal reason why I considered the possibility.
— Phil Jackson’s statement on the Lakers and the sudden Mike D’Antoni hiring