Phil Jackson, Jeanie Buss reveal how he's had an unofficial role with the Lakers
Their presence loomed large with any gesture Phil Jackson and Jeanie Buss made.
Photographers continuously clicked their cameras as they stood on the blue carpet Wednesday at a Time Warner Cable sponsored event at the Vibiana in downtown Los Angeles that honored the late Lakers owner Jerry Buss.
Moments later, Jackson and Jeanie sat on a couch conversing with a handful of writers for more than 20 minutes. And in her first comments since her father’s passing at age 80 four months ago from an unspecified form of cancer, Jeanie Buss provided several revealing tidbits on the state of the Lakers’ franchise.
That started with the former coach and fiancée that guided the Lakers to five NBA championships.
“My message to Lakers fans is Phil is a part of the organization because of me,” said Buss, who’s the Lakers’ executive vice president of business operations and serves as the team’s governor. “He's part of my life and part of my family. He's always in Laker world, no matter if he has an official position or not.”
“I think we’re in good hands with our front office,” said Buss, referring to Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak and her brother, Jim, the team’s vice president of basketball operations. “Jim and Mitch know Phil is a phone call away. He’s always available. He would always do anything to help, support or listen. It’s like we’re all family.”
That has already happened with examples beyond Jackson speaking at Shaquille O’Neal’s jersey retirement at Staples Center two months ago.
Kupchak confirmed Jackson ‘s revelation that they talked “in the past couple of weeks” about unspecified issues concerning the Lakers.
“I’m not sure why somebody like Phil isn’t working for an NBA club right now,” Kupchak said. “He has so much to offer to any franchise. Even though he doesn’t have an official role with us, he’s a consultant of sorts.”
Jackson declined to specify those issues(he's consulted on), but there’s one thing clear.
Despite the insistent “We Want Phil” chants permeating Staples Center, the Lakers won’t bring back Jackson to coach. Kupchak has already publicly maintained Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni will return next season. The Lakers’ front office also believes a full training camp and a healthier roster will ensure D’Antoni fares better than a first-round exit to the San Antonio Spurs.
“There are upsides and downsides to coaching the Lakers. The expectations are very high,” Kupchak said. “He was eager to take the job and was looking forward to it, but as the season progressed there was one injury after another. He would admit it was a tougher season than he thought.”
It doesn’t help Jackson reiterated, “I have no intention of coaching.”
But intentions can change, no?
“I know. Don’t they? What could I use instead of intention? No plans to coach? How about that?” Jackson said.
Read More Here: http://www.insidesoc...ith-the-lakers/
Most important tidbit I think is here
This is about the night Mitch etc and they didn't hire Phil and the relationship with Jeanie and Jim Buss because of it and Kupchak.
“I think he was upset that I woke him up,” Kupchak said. “Other than that, I don’ think there’s anything there. When you get old you go to sleep a little earlier. I go sleep a lot earlier than I did 20 years ago.”
Still, Jackson grinned when Jeanie was asked if that affected her relationship with Jim.
“I was not happy with how things happened,” Buss said. “It was a difficult process to go through. I was disappointed, but I’m biased. I don’t think anybody would judge me to say (Phil) is the best coach in the entire world. That’s my prerogative to feel that way.”
Have Jeanie and Jim resolved their differences?
“It’s something I can always tease him about,” Jeanie said, smiling. “That’s what families do. You always bring up things. Everyone always has family issues and maybe that was something I can tease him about. It’s fine.”
That's lovely to hear that the family gets along fine and teases each other about it AND that Phil is a consultant.
Things are looking a lot better now than once thought now that the whole story is surfacing.
Edited by Majesty, June 19, 2013 - 08:57 PM.