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Mark Cuban calls Phil Jackson “first housewife of the Lakers”

Apr 3, 2013, 11:41 AM EDT

Former Los Angeles Lakers head coach Jackson speaks during a ceremony to retire jersey #34 in honor of former Los Angeles Lakers player O'Neal during their NBA basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks in Los Angeles Reuters

Mark Cuban understands marketing. He understands (and admits) how good stars like Shaquille O’Neal and Phil Jackson are for the league.

But that doesn’t mean he could resist taking a dig at his old rival Tuesday night when Jackson was in Staples Center to honor Shaquille O’Neal at his number retirement.

“I have great respect for Phil, Jeanie’s husband as he’ll be now be known. Someone’s got to be the first housewife of the Lakers,” Cuban said.

In case you need the joke explained, Jackson is now engaged to long-time girlfriend Jeanie Buss, who is one of the lead owners of the Lakers after the passing of her father Jerry earlier this year.

Cuban and Jackson have had their rivalry — and I couldn’t imagine them working well together in the same organization — but there is a level of respect there. And Cuban said big personalities like Shaq and Jackson are good for league business. And Cuban is all about what is good for business.

“When the Mavs beat them that series, I walked up (to Jackson) and said, ‘You’re great for the NBA. Please don’t retire,'” Cuban said before the game Tuesday.

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