Phil Jackson attends Knicks shootaround, but not expected to attend Lakers-Knicks game

At any given moment, Laker fans are prone to yell “We want Phil,” a constant plea for Phil Jackson to restore championship prosperity back to the struggling franchise.

But it appears unlikely Jackson will hear them first hand when the Lakers (23-46) host the New York Knicks (29-41) tonight at Staples Center. This marks the first time the two teams play each other since Jackson became president of the Knicks’ front office after having an unofficial consulting role last season with the Lakers in part because of his relationship with fiance Jeanie Buss, the Lakers’ president. New York does not expect Jackson to be in attendance at the game, though he was seen in the Knicks’ locker room during morning shootaround at Staples Center.

Jackson respectfully declined to talk when a few reporters approached him in the locker room, but Knicks star Carmelo Anthony emerged from there shortly after speaking with him.

“I’ve seen him here and there. But not a sitdown to talk,” said Anthony, who could opt out of his contract this offseason to become a free agent.
Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Jeanie Buss said Phil Jackson was never offered an official position with the Lakers

 Phil Jackson during his introductory press conference at Madison Square Garden on March 18, 2014 in New York City.

Phil Jackson during his introductory press conference at Madison Square Garden on March 18, 2014 in New York City.

The news that the Lakers chose Mike D’Antoni over Phil Jackson to become the next Lakers coach affected Jeanie Buss’ emotional well being. After a tumultuous season filled with a first-round exit, never-ending injuries and a split among stars and role players in embracing D’Antoni’s fast-paced system, Buss conceded wondering how things may have played out differently had Jackson become the coach. And this whole dynamic bothered Buss so much she detailed her frustration on how it affected her relationship with her brother, the Lakers vice president of basketball operations Jim Buss, in a memoir released before this season.

Yet, on an appearance with Time Warner Cable SportsNet on Tuesday night, Buss sounded fairly pragmatic in reflecting on the events that ultimately led toward Jackson becoming president of the New York Knicks’ basketball operations.

“He was not offered any official position,” Buss said regarding Jackson with the Lakers. “There is no role in the front office for him for what he can contribute. Maybe I could have him sell sponsorships, do something like that and work security. But I don’t think that would be something that would give Phil the kind of challenge he’s looking for that would fulfill him. Anybody that knows when you’re not involved in a relationship, if your significant other isn’t happy or satisfied with they’re doing, it’s not fun. Everybody has to find what their passion is. For Phil, basketball is his passion and he’s good at it.”

Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Phil Jackson officially joins the New York Knicks

SAN ANTONIO — Will the “We want Phil” chants now stop? Or will they just grow louder?

Whatever the case, Phil Jackson isn’t walking through that door to restore the Lakers back to a storied franchise. Instead, he will oversee the New York Knicks’ front office.

Will Jackson’s departure provide some relief for Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni?

“Nah,” D’Antoni said abruptly.

Moments earlier, D’Antoni spoke highly of the coach many Lakers fans wished had replaced Mike Brown after he was fired five games into last season. Instead the Lakers hired D’Antoni, who has become wildly unpopular amid the Lakers’ persistent losing and injury-riddled rosters.

“It’s a good move,” said D’Antoni, who coached the Knicks from 2008 to 2012. “He obviously is a knowledgeable basketball guy. They need that right now.”

The Knicks sure do.

They’ve become a laughing stock of the NBA, a once accomplished organization riddled by bad contracts, a lack of supporting cast around Carmelo Anthony and a meddling owner in James Dolan. But plenty of Laker fans had hoped Jackson could become a savior for the organization after winning five of his 11 NBA titles in two separate stints as the team’s head coach.

But the Lakers passed him over last November in favor of D’Antoni five games into the season following Mike Brown’s firing. Jackson, who is engaged to Lakers president Jeanie Buss, has become an unofficial consultant with the Lakers. But he has had minimal influence and hasn’t spoken to vice president of player personnel Jim Buss since the Lakers interviewed Jackson.

So instead, Jackson will join the organization he once played for as a key bench reserve that won two NBA championships in the 1970′s. Despite Jackson’s basketball resume, however, he lacks front office experience. There’s also concerns how much autonomy the micro-managing Dolan will give him.

But the Knicks are hoping Jackson could attract potential free agents and bring more structure to an organization that has lacked it.

“He has a hell of a mind,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “Being a coach, it’s sort of a pain in the [rear]. He’s a smart guy.”

RELATED:

Kobe Bryant vows again to overcome self doubt

Kobe Bryant, Magic Johnson questions Lakers’ ownership

Thunder’s Kevin Durant models scoring, competitiveness partly after Kobe Bryant

Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter and on Facebook. E-mail him at mark.medina@langnews.com

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Pete Carroll congratulates Phil Jackson on apparent role with New York Knicks

Jeanie Buss and Phil Jackson talks to the media about the Lakers at a Time Warner event to honor the late Jerry Buss in Los Angeles.  Photo by David Crane/Los Angeles Daily News

Jeanie Buss and Phil Jackson talks to the media about the Lakers at a Time Warner event to honor the late Jerry Buss in Los Angeles. Photo by David Crane/Los Angeles Daily News

Everything Pete Carroll has done has seemingly turned into gold, including leading USC to a 2004 BCS national championship and the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks winning Super Bowl XLVIII this past season. Now Carroll has incidentally turned into an NBA insider, tweeting perhaps preemptively that Phil Jackson has accepted a position with the New York Knicks.


Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Jeanie & Jim Buss downplay “Laker Girl” excerpts detailing frustration with relationship

Jeanie Buss and Phil Jackson talks to the media about the Lakers at a Time Warner event to honor the late Jerry Buss in Los Angeles.  Photo by David Crane/Los Angeles Daily News

Jeanie Buss and Phil Jackson talks to the media about the Lakers at a Time Warner event to honor the late Jerry Buss in Los Angeles. Photo by David Crane/Los Angeles Daily News

Do Jeanie and Jim Buss get along?

Excerpts from Jeanie’s updated memoir, Laker Girl, suggest they don’t. According to excerpts published by The Los Angeles Times, the Lakers president detailed how the front office passing on Phil Jackson in their coaching search last season and choosing Mike D’Antoni to replace the fired Mike Brown negatively affected her emotional well being.

Considering her allegiances to Jackson as a longtime companion, Jeanie also suggested in the memoir that the situation hurt her relationship with her brother Jim, the Lakers’ vice president of player personnel.

But in statements released by the Lakers, both Jeanie and Jim Buss downplayed what those excerpts suggest.

“The words and sentiments in Jeanie’s new book reflect her feelings and frustrations nearly a year ago, and how she felt at that time,” Jim Buss said in a statement. “I understand that Jeanie felt that way, and why she felt that way. Since that time, we have discussed the situation, the circumstances that led to it, and our feelings about it. Both of us feel this has been resolved and have put this behind us.”

“Jim has been great in terms of understanding my feelings about this and in fostering an atmosphere that has led to better communication,” Jeanie Buss said in a statement. “We have regular meetings and talks and are both committed to creating the best working environment possible, as are my sister and brothers as well. We are focused only on what is best for the franchise and in making the Lakers championship contenders.”

Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Jeanie Buss: Lakers passing over Phil Jackson “practically destroyed me”

Jeanie Buss answers talks to the media about the Lakers at a Time Warner event to honor the late Jerry Buss in Los Angeles.  Photo by David Crane/Los Angeles Daily News

Jeanie Buss answers talks to the media about the Lakers at a Time Warner event to honor the late Jerry Buss in Los Angeles. Photo by David Crane/Los Angeles Daily News

Almost 10 months have passed since the Lakers passed on Phil Jackson and chose Mike D’Antoni as instead to take over for Mike Brown as the team’s head coach.

There’s one significant person within the Lakers who remains unhappy about it.

Jeanie Buss.

The Lakers president revealed in her updated memoir, “Laker Girl,” co-written by former Los Angeles Times sportswriter Steve Springer, how the team’s front office handled the coaching search negatively affected her emotional well being.

“The sequence of events — Phil almost coming back and then being told someone else was better for the job — practically destroyed me,” Buss wrote, according to excerpts. “It almost took away my passion for this job and this game. It felt like I had been stabbed in the back. It was a betrayal. I was devastated.”
Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email