Jeanie Buss Discusses State Of Lakers, Phil Jackson's Relationship With Front Office
Lakers Exec VP/Business Operations Jeanie Buss in her first comments since the passing of late team Owner Jerry Buss four months ago "provided several revealing tidbits on the state of the Lakers' franchise," according to Mark Medina of the L.A. DAILY NEWS. Buss said of her fiancé Basketball HOFer Phil Jackson, "My message to Lakers fans is Phil is a part of the organization because of me." Buss when asked if she wanted Jackson to have an official position with the team said, "I think we're in good hands with our front office." She added of Lakers Exec VP/Player Personnel Jim Buss and GM Mitch Kupchak, "Jim and Mitch know Phil is a phone call away." Kupchak "confirmed Jackson's revelation that they talked 'in the past couple of weeks' about unspecified issues concerning the Lakers." Jackson has said that he "would've had a front office role had Seattle investor Chris Hansen successfully brokered a deal to buy" the Kings (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 6/20). ESPN L.A.'s Arash Markazi reported Kupchak "did not rule out the possibility of Jackson's having a more official role with the team moving forward after Jackson has passed up several opportunities with other teams." Jim Buss and Kupchak "handle the basketball decisions of the Lakers, which was the wish" of Jerry Buss "before he died." There had been "some feeling that it would be hard for Jackson to work with Jim Buss." But Jackson said that is "not the case and he has no issues with Buss but admitted he doesn't have much of a relationship with his future brother-in-law" (ESPNLA.com, 6/19).