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League “addresses issue” to make sure Phil Jackson/Jeanie Buss relationship not conflict of interest

Mar 20, 2014, 3:15 PM EDT

Former Los Angeles Lakers coach Jackson sits with Lakers Executive Vice President of Business Operations Buss during the NBA basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks in Los Angeles

It’s hard to picture Phil Jackson lying in bed next to Jeanie Buss detailing the Knicks plans to go after Kevin Love in 2015. Or to see Buss telling Jackson exactly how the Lakers planned to trump that offer. It’s not how I imagine their relationship works. (Frankly I try hard not to picture them in bed, period.)

But because of a perceived possible conflict of interest between the Lakers co-owner (Buss) and her fiancé the Knicks president of basketball operations (Jackson) the league’s lawyers have stepped in. Because every relationship is better when the lawyers get involved.

Darren Rovell and Ramona Shelburne of ESPN posted the details.

An NBA official has acknowledged that the league has put parameters in place to make sure that the high-profile relationship between Jeanie Buss and Phil Jackson doesn’t create any issues.

“The Knicks’ hiring of Phil Jackson is subject to the league’s conflict of interest rules,” NBA spokesman Mike Bass told “To avoid even the appearance of a conflict, we have addressed the issue with the Knicks and Lakers to ensure that the relationship between Jeanie Buss and Phil Jackson will not affect how the teams operate.”

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver broached the topic with Buss at a dinner, she said in an interview on Time Warner SportsNet Wednesday.

She also explained why this really isn’t much of a conflict.

“There is an understanding all trades are approved by the NBA, and I don’t anticipate any problem because I don’t make the basketball decisions on behalf of the Lakers,” said Buss, who has indeed previously ceded all basketball decisions to her brother Jim and team general manager Mitch Kupchak. “So I really don’t see where there would be a conflict.”

There’s won’t be. But the lawyers had to get paid.

  1. nsstlfan - Mar 20, 2014 at 3:23 PM

    Wasn’t there already an article about this.

    • spursareold - Mar 20, 2014 at 3:28 PM

      Yesterday. This is today. Try to keep up.

      • fanofthegame79 - Mar 20, 2014 at 4:03 PM

        Yup, and we’ll read another one about it tomorrow, too. Just with a different spin. Remember, we clicked on it so the people think we want to read about it.

  2. rajbais - Mar 20, 2014 at 3:54 PM

    The only issue that should matter is that the couple has no wedding date yet.

    How long have they been together?

    • willis56 - Mar 20, 2014 at 5:55 PM

      They became engaged in 1999, so at least 15yrs.

      • asimonetti88 - Mar 20, 2014 at 6:57 PM

        They only recently became engaged, but they’ve been dating since 1999.

      • Professor Fate - Mar 20, 2014 at 6:59 PM

        Started dating in ’99 shortly after Jackson took over as head coach, engaged at the end of ’12.

  3. jimeejohnson - Mar 20, 2014 at 7:09 PM

    They’re going to be a bicoastal couple, with pretty freakin’ nice homes in NYC and LA. How bad could that be: bring the killer avocados with you from Cali to NYC and put them on a NY pizza.

  4. slaugin - Mar 20, 2014 at 7:29 PM

    This is just the league kissing the Lakers Arse. Can I bet on who gets the #1 pick? If so I’m about to put my savings on L.A.

    • Professor Fate - Mar 20, 2014 at 10:42 PM

      Yes, this favors the Lakers the same way Stern preventing Chris Paul from going to the Lakers (but allowing him to go to the Clippers) helped the Lakers, too, right? I’m sure you can find a good conspiracy theory rattling around that empty head of yours somewhere, so go ahead and bust open the piggy bank. Vegas awaits your donation.

  5. eugenesaxe1 - Mar 21, 2014 at 12:14 AM

    This is silly. Phil will be going all out to make the Knicks better in every possible way, just so he can shove it in ShortBuss’ face.

  6. Kevin S. - Mar 21, 2014 at 5:53 AM

    Other “conflicts of interest” – Don Nelson coaching the Warriors while his son GMed the Mavs, John and Jim Harbaugh coaching the Ravens and 49ers, Kevin McHale trading a superstar to his old buddy Danny Ainge for spare bits of lint… people with close relationships sometimes have to work for opposing teams in sports. Get over it.

  7. gmsingh123 - Mar 21, 2014 at 8:46 AM

    If there is a conflict of interest to see who’s going to be in the bottom third of the league I can see this.

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