The way the Mike D’Antoni hiring went down — with the awkward flirtation with Phil Jackson in front of it — didn’t really sit well with Jeanie Buss. She’s the co-owner of the Lakers along with brother Jim Buss and the rest of the Buss family, but she’s engaged to Jackson.
So, she teases her brother about it.
The hiring was all Jim — he keeps Jeanie at arms length on basketball decisions — and Jeanie said she and her brother are all good now. But as family will do, she gives him a hard time about the hiring. That’s what Jeanie told Mark Medina of the Daily News.
“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.”
Plenty of Lakers fans would use stronger language than tease.
But the fact is the “Phil Jackson coaching the Lakers” ship has sailed. He might have done it a year ago, but that was a special situation. Now the Lakers have made their commitment to D’Antoni and his style, and Jackson has repeatedly said (and did again in the aforementioned interview) he will not coach again.
The Lakers are transitioning, from ownership to what they will look like on the court in a few years. Jeanie Buss will be part of that, and with that Jackson will be as well — but only has an occasional consultant.