Jeanie Buss on Mike D’Antoni: “The guy wants to win”

Jeanie Buss

Just over a week after published excerpts to her updated memoir revealed frustration how the Lakers front office chose Mike D’Antoni over Phil Jackson last season to become the team’s next head coach, President Jeanie Buss appeared on 710 ESPN and offered some support.

As first reported by Yahoo! Sports, Buss confirmed Thursday on KSPN-710 AM that she and D’Antoni have since talked following the published excerpts and offered some support.

“I’ve gotten a chance to get to know coach D’Antoni,” Buss said. “The guy wants to win. I love that about him. We have the same taste in restaurants and food because he lives in the same area” in Manhattan Beach.

Buss also met D’Antoni’s wife, Laurel.

Said Buss: Behind a great coach is a great woman.”

Buss was never directly asked about specific excerpts in her book, Laker Girl, which detailed how Jackson being passed over “practically destroyed” Buss partly because they’re engaged and partly because Jackson won five of his 11 NBA titles in two separate stints with the Lakers (1999-2004, 2005-2011). Buss also suggested in the memoir that the situation hurt her relationship with her brother Jim, the Lakers’ vice president of player personnel.

But Buss generally suggested that the contents of her memoir were written when certain moments transpired and don’t necessarily reflect her present-day beliefs.

“Someone said, ‘It’d be a good idea to keep a journal to deal with some of the emotions you were going through,'” Buss said. “It’s the journal of my life the last few years since Lakers Girl. We added a few more chapters. I left Laker Girl in 2010 and didn’t know what would happen with Phil and myself.”

“There were some things that came out about [the book],” Buss said. “I forgot it because I wrote it over the summer.”


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