Jeanie Buss Comments on Phil Jackson’s Tenure with Knicks, More

Jeanie Buss and Phil Jackson are perhaps the NBA's biggest power couple, and the Los Angeles Lakers president recently discussed her relationship with the New York Knicks president as well as her desire to work with him.

In an interview with Bleacher Report Radio (h/t Marc Berman of the New York Post) Monday, Buss revealed that she wanted Jackson as part of the Lakers front office but was ultimately overruled:

I'm not going to say that was not always my hope at some point. But it was made clear to me by my brother [Jim] and [general manager] Mitch Kupchak, we didn’t need any more voices involved with the Lakers, that they felt they had everything under control. I respect that, but had to respect Phil's desire to work again. He had to pursue whatever made him happy. Would I have preferred to do it together? Of course, but I'm happy he's doing something that makes him happy.

Jackson was the Lakers head coach from 1999 through 2004 and again from 2005 through 2011. He is an 11-time NBA champion as a head coach, with five of them coming in L.A.

The 70-year-old Hall of Famer showed interest in taking a front office position, and he was ultimately hired last year by the Knicks, with whom he played from 1967 through 1978.

After a rough first year at the helm, Jackson has helped guide the Knicks to an 8-10 start in 2015-16, and Buss is pleased with his success, despite it meaning they can't spend as much time together as she'd like:

I'm happy for him. I think he works hard. He took a job that's difficult. He moved to New York. That part's tough is that we're not together. He's finding satisfaction and fulfillment in the job. I wish him luck. The best thing would be if the Lakers and Knicks played in the playoffs because that would mean we're both in The Finals. I wish him luck. I think he's enjoying what he's doing. He's fully focused. We're not the first couple that have been bicoastal. We try to ...

About the Author