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November 13, 2012

Lakers sign D'Antoni to 3-year deal

(Continued)

D’Antoni was most recently employed by the Knicks, when he was forced to resign under pressure last season after an 18-24 start.

Kobe Bryant did not hide his excitement for the prospect of Jackson returning but, like Nash, he was also on board with D’Antoni.

“They know how I feel about Phil. They know how I feel about D’Antoni,” Bryant said Sunday. “I like them both.”

D’Antoni’s coaching staff with the Lakers likely will start with two longtime assistants — his brother, Dan D’Antoni, and Phil Weber.

The new Lakers coach has a 388-339 coaching record in the NBA. He led the Suns to the Western Conference finals in 2005 and 2006 with Nash running the show.

Bryant became familiar as a boy with D’Antoni, who was a star in the Italian league in the 1980s, when Bryant’s father also played in Italy. D’Antoni helped Olimpia Milano win five league titles and two European club titles. D’Antoni also worked with Bryant on the U.S. national team as an assistant.

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