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Jeanie Buss would not try to stop Jackson from leaving

Jun 1, 2010, 2:47 PM EDT

One factor that makes any rumor of Phil Jackson potentially leaving the Lakers next season more interesting is Jackson’s relationship with long-time girlfriend Jeanie Buss, the Executive Vice President of the Lakers and the daughter of legendary Lakers owner Jerry Buss. According to Marc Berman of the New York Post, Jackson’s relationship with Buss was the reason that he did not accept the Knicks’ offer to coach the team in 2005. 

However, in a recent email to the Post, Jeanie Buss denied that she would prevent Jackson from leaving if he decided to coach somewhere else:
“I don’t know how things will work out,” Buss wrote. “I am hoping the Lakers win and everything stays status quo, but the one thing I do know is that I am not going to stand in Phil’s way if he wants to go to another team…I don’t control him — if I did I would have a ring on my finger, but I am not going to threaten to break up with him if he takes another job.
Our relationship is solid no matter where he works. There are plenty examples of wives that don’t move to the city their spouse is coaching. I hear [Celtics coach] Doc Rivers’s family is still in Orlando. So that will not make a difference.”

You have to love Phil Jackson. With the biggest free-agency summer in history looming and the finals days away, Phil has managed to drum up boatloads of interest in where he’ll be coaching next season, just by saying he’s only 90% sure that he wouldn’t coach another team next year. It’s good that Buss is confident enough in her relationship with Jackson to let him coach another team if he really wants to, but I can’t help but feel it will end up being a moot point. 

  1. soma - Jun 1, 2010 at 3:34 PM

    I cannot see Phil leave lakers to coach anywhere else. He either retires or coach this team for couple more titles. It would be hard to leave after you win this year.
    Phil is a very loyal person look at his staff and players. He stick with them through thick and thin. And Jeannie is such a sweet gal with great heart. Phil is too smart to leave the real trophy of his life.

  2. Oldtimer - Jun 1, 2010 at 4:26 PM

    The Lakers should be held accountable if Phil leaves. What else does this guy have to do to get respect? He deserves to be paid like the athletes that work for him. Sorry Kobe, or Shaq fans, but they would probably be nothing without Mr. Jackson.

  3. hmmmm - Jun 1, 2010 at 4:29 PM

    “It’s good that Buss is confident enough in her relationship with Buss to let him coach another team if he really wants to, but I can’t help but feel it will end up being a moot point.”
    So…. are you calling Jeanie Buss an asexual hermaphrodite, or am I just reading this wrong? Pretty sure that’s slander.

  4. LakerFans 4 life - Jun 1, 2010 at 7:18 PM

    The question is how much of a paycut would he take if he’s real loyal? 1mil 2mil. If I was Jerry Buss, I would pay him @ least close to what he making now. Just to keep him happy.

  5. LakerFans 4 life - Jun 1, 2010 at 7:23 PM

    Yeah I would agree that if phil leave so lakers leave too. Lakers need a very discipline coach to run this team. Maybe Kobe will have something to say about that too.

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