Everyone knows the New York Knicks were Phil Jackson’s second choice. Had Jackson been offered the exact same position with the Los Angeles Lakers as the one he accepted with the Knicks, he would have chosen LA. Why wasn’t that offer extended? Lakers president Jeanie Buss, who referred to herself as “the boss,” shed some light on that on Thursday.
Buss has been in charge of the Lakers since her father Dr. Jerry Buss passed away. In a lengthy chat with ESPNLA 710 radio’s “Mason and Ireland” show, she explained her responsibilities with the team.
“In my position, I empower people that are in positions to do their jobs,” Buss said. “[Executive vice president of player personnel] Jim Buss and [general manager] Mitch Kupchak are responsible for all basketball decisions. They are empowered to do that. My job is to make sure, as a boss, that I provide them the tools to do the job successfully. But it’s up to them to make the day-to-day decisions on how they operate their area of the business.”
That’s where the Jackson situation comes into play. Buss, who is Jackson’s fiancee, admitted that she would love to share an office with Phil so they could carpool to work together. The decision to not hire Jackson ultimately came down to her siblings and employees not envisioning a significant role for him.