Jeanie Buss Thinks Lakers Are Still Bigger Free-Agent Magnet Than Knicks

To say the past 13 months have been a trying time for the Buss family would be an understatement. The children of late Los Angeles Lakers owner Dr. Jerry Buss have faced one test after another since the family patriarch passed on Feb. 18, 2013.

L.A.'s 2012-13 star-studded superteam broke down amid a rash of injuries and underachieving play, bowing out in the first round. Franchise cornerstone Kobe Bryant's knee injury led to a chain reaction that would cost him nearly all of 2013-14. And for the first time since the franchise moved to Los Angeles, the team lost a big-name free agent when center Dwight Howard opted for less money to sign with the Houston Rockets.

Buss' children suffered another massive public relations disaster this week when former head coach Phil Jackson took a job running the New York Knicks. Not only did Jackson helm L.A. to their last five championships, he is the fiancee of Lakers governor, Jeanie Buss. 

But that does not mean Ms. Buss is going to concede that Jackson has any advantage in luring future free agents away from Los Angeles, as she said Thursday on ESPN 710 Radio (via the Los Angeles Times' Mike Bresnahan and Eric Pincus):

That's not true. I don't agree with that. I think the Lakers are a legacy franchise. Players know when they come here this is the ultimate platform…. I'm not worried about that in any way, shape or form. ...

I still don't understand why [Howard] left. He had his own reasons. People I guess maybe would be talking [angrily] about the billboard. That really seemed to rub people the wrong way. I thought it was a good idea. It obviously didn't mean anything to him.

"The billboard" was a reference to last summer's "STAY" campaign, which failed to entice Howard to re-sign with L.A.

Many would argue that Jackson's new team, the Knicks, are also a legacy franchise. While they may not have the championsh...

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