Jeanie Buss Rumors
Of course, Jackson is in New York but it remains to be seen for how long, where he goes and if its colors are purple and gold. Jackson and his fiance, Lakers co-owner Jeanie Buss, both deny it’s happening. That’s absolutely true … as far as it goes … until Phil’s opt-out on July 1, 2017, with insiders close to both saying he could still wind up with the Lakers.
Not that Jackson is sitting around thinking about the Lakers at present with ore immediate challenges, like sticking it to everyone who says he can’t do his present job. Like all issues involving free agency, Phil’s availability will depend on the last thing that happens this season. The Knicks’ finish will decide if owner Jim Dolan is happy paying Jackson $12 million annually, which will decide if Phil feels like staying. Or maybe it’s the other way around. In any case, the situation is fluid.
(Actually, it’s unlikely that Kupchak, who worked easily with Jackson, would have objected to something ownership wanted to do. If Jim didn’t want Phil, it was because of his own issues with him.) Stung as Jeanie was, she wasn’t then inclined to fight Jim, knowing her father didn’t want an inter-organizational struggle. Instead, she took Jim up on his off-hand vow to leave if he couldn’t get the team back in two years – which she took to mean making the Western Conference finals by this season – or in other words, so long, Jimbo!
Luke Walton. It wasn’t hard to figure out the Lakers would go after Luke. I did that last February. It wasn’t clear if he would take the job but the rest was easy: He had gone 39-4 running the Warriors in Coach Steve Kerr’s absence. He was a beloved former Laker. Jeanie Buss was desperate for good p.r.. In the really good part for the Lakers, they didn’t just get a coach but a style of play … and it wasn’t the triangle offense Luke ran under Phil Jackson or the simple, defense-oriented scheme they ran under Scott.
Here’s one for Dr. Jerry Buss. His last call before he passed away was to hire D’Antoni over Jackson, which was wildly unpopular with Laker fans and blamed on his son, Jim, with even Jeanie Buss claiming her brother had done Phil in. Unfortunately for the Lakers, they had multiple bigs in Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard, making them a better fit for Phil’s offense. With Steve Nash’s injuries and Dwight merely passing through with his skepticism of Bryant, it was a steaming mess, and worse for the following two seasons with Kobe playing only 41 of 164 games. Nevertheless, there’s another term you could use for D’Antoni’s small-ball, floor-spacing, high-powered offense: modern basketball.
Jeanie Buss: Visiting the Hollywood Walk of Fame. My dad was humbled by this honor. He loved Los Angeles. #Lakers owner. #DrBuss
An ominous cloud looms over the Lakers, however. Lakers executive vice president Jim Buss said in 2014 he would step down if the Lakers do not become a Western Conference contender in three years. Lakers president Jeanie Buss has often said she would hold the front office accountable with unspecified changes if that does not happen. All of which perpetuates uncertainty on if Kupchak’s focus on development could conflict with Jeanie Buss’ focus on results. “I’m not in a position to debate the stuff you talked about,” Kupchak said on Tuesday at UC Santa Barbara. “I’m not sure what was said with certainty. From my point of view, we’ve created a team that has a lot of young talent that can grow into really good NBA players that can leave an imprint on this league. I think we’ve surrounded them with older veterans to help us win games. I’m excited about our coaching staff.”