Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix dropped by the NYC ManCave to talk about the Lakers hiring Mike D’Antoni.

Mannix said that the Lakers could have done a deal for two years, $12 million a year, but the deal went south because of bigger issues. “If it was just as simple as money,” Mannix said, “the Lakers would have been more than happy to [hire Phil Jackson].”

Mannix thinks Jackson would have been a better fit because the players there are familiar with Jackson. And Jackson will immediately get respect that locker room.

Mannix said that several of the players are familiar with D’Antoni’s offense, so that transition shouldn’t be too tough.

“Mike’s offense is the easiest offense for this team to learn right away,” Mannix said.

Mannix also talked about DeMarcus Cousins confronting Sean Elliott. He said that Elliott was critical of Cousins for talking trash to Elliott’s former teammate Tim Duncan. Cousins came out a half-hour after the game and got in Elliott’s face.

Mannix is sticking with the Oklahoma City Thunder as his pick in the West, regardless of what happens with the Lakers.