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Jackson Got Greedy, Lakers Got Smart

AP Photo

Between the hours of Mike Brown's firing and a meeting on Saturday morning with history's most accomplished coach, Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak privately told people there was one candidate: Phil Jackson.

Jackson wanted to humiliate Lakers vice president Jim Buss far more than he wanted to coach the team. He wanted significant allowances on travel, coaching duties and an ability to veto player personnel moves that didn't fit his vision. With an unprecedented 11 coaching championships, Jackson had every right to make unprecedented demands. He doesn't have the right to be surprised when the Lakers rejected them and hired a pliable, cheaper coach in Mike D'Antoni.

"Phil wanted Jim Buss to walk away with his tail between his legs," one source with knowledge of the...

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