Mike D'Antoni has been hired as the new head coach of the struggling Los Angeles Lakers, the team said in a statement.

Lakers spokesman John Black said the team's owner, Dr. Jerry Buss; executive vice president of basketball operations, Jim Buss; and general manager, Mitch Kupchak, "were unanimous that Mike D'Antoni was the best coach" for the franchise at this time.

A press conference will be held Tuesday or Wednesday to provide all the aspects of the deal reached with the 61-year-old former head coach of the Phoenix Suns, New York Knicks and Denver Nuggets, Black said.

D'Antoni's agent, Warren LeGarie, told ESPN Sunday night that the Lakers had signed his client to a four-year deal.

Despite bolstering their roster in the offseason by signing center Dwight Howard and point guard Steve Nash, the Lakers struggled to a 1-4 start and then abruptly fired coach Mike Brown on Friday.

The Lakers then improved their record to 3-4 under interim coach Bernie Bickerstaff, recording comfortable wins over the Golden State Warriors on Friday and the Sacramento Kings on Sunday night.

D'Antoni, known for his teams' up-tempo style of play, coached Nash in Phoenix and helped lead that franchise to the Western Conference Finals in 2005 and 2006.

Nash was named the NBA's Most Valuable Player in both of those seasons. Now 38 and still looking for his first championship, he has struggled with a leg injury this season.

The Lakers opted for D'Antoni even though fans - during the Warriors game on Friday - expressed their preference for former head coach Phil Jackson, who led the team to five championships between 2000 and 2010.

The Lakers' star shooting guard, Kobe Bryant, also said he hoped the team would rehire Jackson. EFE