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Jeanie Buss and Phil Jackson take adorable selfie

Jeanie Buss Phil Jackson selfie

Would you look at 52-year-old Jeanie Buss and 68-year-old Phil Jackson taking an adorable selfie like a couple of cute teenagers in love. Jeanie posted that photo of her and her fiancee to her Twitter page on Friday (yes, Phil finally gave her an engagement ring after over 12 years of dating).

Did you know that “selfie” was announced this week as the Oxford Dictionary’s word of the year? If Buss and Phil are doing it, then you know the practice has truly become ubiquitous. It’s like seeing your favorite grandpa take a selfie.

Mitch Kupchak: Lakers ‘clumsy’ informing Phil Jackson of Mike D’Antoni hire

Phil-Jackson-KnicksThe Los Angeles Lakers took a lot of heat for a number of reasons when they chose to hire Mike D’Antoni over Phil Jackson last season. For starters, Jackson is a legend in LA and he was clearly interested in returning to the team he coached to five NBA titles. In addition, most people felt he would be the best candidate to get the most out of Dwight Howard.

Instead, the Lakers made a surprise move and went with D’Antoni. In fact, it was so much of a surprise that the way they handled it became as much a source of criticism as the move itself. Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak addressed that in an interview with ESPN Radio earlier this week.

“There was really no other way to get around it,” Kupchak said, via the LA Times. “In this business you don’t make announcements until you have signed contracts. The last thing we wanted was for Phil Jackson, who we love in the organization, the city loves him, to wake in the morning or to get a phone call from somebody at 4 or 5 in the morning saying, ‘Guess what? Didn’t Mitch tell you?’”

After defending the way things went down, Kupchak admitted the team could have handled it differently.

“Really there was no other way to do it, and you could say it was clumsy,” he added.

There is no doubt the Lakers could have approached the situation with a bit more grace. It took enough to convince Jackson to come out of retirement to begin with, so pulling the offer was shocking. Doc Rivers felt that they embarrassed Jackson with the way it played out and Charles Barkley agreed. We’ll find out this upcoming season if the decision was worth it.

H/T Pro Basketball Talk

Phil Jackson responds to Kendrick Lamar song lyric

Phil JacksonPhil Jackson responded to rapper Kendrick Lamar, who mentioned the former Los Angeles Lakers coach in a song lyric.

In the lyrics for “Control,” Lamar says, “If Phil Jackson came back, still no coachin’ me/I’m uncoachable, I’m unsociable.”

“Uncoachable” is how Jackson described Kobe Bryant in his 2004 book “The Last Season” about coaching the Lakers. The Lakers were coming off a disappointing loss to the Detroit Pistons in the NBA Finals, and Jackson decided to take a season off. He got along much better with Kobe after returning to coach the team a season later.

Anyway, after learning that he was mentioned in Lamar’s song, Jackson sent the following tweet to the rapper:

That’s right, Kendrick Lamar, you may think you’re cocky and uncoachable and unsociable, but Phil Jackson says everyone can use a mentor. That goes for you, too.

H/T Inside the Lakers

Phil Jackson: I’m not kidding myself, I’m done coaching

Phil-Jackson-KnicksPlenty of Los Angeles Lakers fans are still holding out hope that they may see Phil Jackson patrolling their sideline once again in the near future. According to Jackson, that is not going to happen.

At an event hosted by former Lakers center John Salley on Wednesday to promote the coach’s book, “Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success,” Jackson told an audience that he sometimes feels he could coach again, but knows it is not the right choice for his health.

“Sometimes I feel I can still get out there and do it but the reality is I’m kidding myself,” he said, via the LA Times. “When I was done I knew I was done — physically it was over. Even though after I got a knee replacement and a prostatectomy in the last year and a half.

“It’s those long flights and three o’clock nights — getting up after five hours of sleep and going back to work, those are the things that wear you out.”

Perhaps the rigors of coaching have truly become too much for the Zen Master, but there is no question he still wants to be around basketball. Back in April, a report indicated that Jackson was anxious to return to the NBA in some capacity. He was later hired by the Detroit Pistons to help them select a new head coach. On Wednesday, Jackson hinted at wanting to help the Lakers.

“[The Lakers are] going through crisis and if they ask me to come and sit and just listen to what’s going on, I’m willing to do that,” he said. “As of right now there’s not a position that’s open there, in which to have an influence — so I understand that. They’re a mess, we know that because of their financial disorder right now, that’s the thing they have to get straight right away.”

Jackson added that the Lakers need to put themselves in a position to extend offers to some of the league’s top free agents over the next couple of years.

“For them to be able to move and to adjust to the process that goes on in the NBA, you have to have flexibility,” he said. “The [way] the league is structured with its new CBA and how it penalizes teams – you can’t make moves. [With] guys like Carmelo [Anthony] and LeBron [James] in a couple of years, you’ve got to be capable of making a challenge for those kinds of players.”

The more he talks, the more obvious it becomes that Jackson would like to some day earn a position with the Lakers’ front office. Given his resume and history of success, the team would be nuts not to find one for him.

Phil Jackson would start team with Bill Russell over Michael Jordan

Bill RussellPhil Jackson has coached two of the greatest basketball players ever, yet he wouldn’t choose either one of them first if he were starting a team.

During an interview with Time, the former Los Angeles Lakers and Chicago Bulls coach said he would take Bill Russell first if he were starting a team, not Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant.

“In my estimation, the guy that has to be there would be Bill Russell,” Jackson answered when asked, via SI’s The Point Forward. “He’s won 11 championships as a player. That’s really the idea of what excellence is, when you win championships.”

Time’s Belinda Luscombe followed up that question by asking Jackson whom he would choose between MJ and Kobe. Though excerpts from his new book “Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success” make it seem like he leans towards Jordan, Jackson mostly avoided answering the question.

“I would flip a coin,” Jackson said. “Whichever one came up heads or tails, I’d take that person. They were that good.”

Jackson caused a stir when the book excerpts made it seem like he was picking MJ over Kobe in the historical debate. Bryant seemed to take issue with Jackson’s commentary and tweeted out a response:

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Phil Jackson on Lakers hiring Mike D’Antoni: ‘I laughed’

Phil JacksonPhil Jackson was probably as stunned as the rest of us when the Los Angeles Lakers decided to go with Mike D’Antoni rather than bringing him back as their heard coach, whether he is willing to admit that or not. You would think a guy who has won five championships with a franchise would be able to return to the bench anytime he wanted, but that was not the case.

However, LA’s decision to hire D’Antoni instead of him did serve as a source of entertainment for the Zen Master.

“I laughed,” Jackson told ESPN’s Mike & Mike in the Morning on Wednesday when asked what he said when the Lakers informed him they had hired D’Antoni. “It was humorous to me when Mitch (Kupchack) said that we think that Mike is a better coach for this group of guys.”

Jackson said he understood that the decision probably had a lot to do with D’Antoni’s history with Steve Nash in Phoenix, but he had his doubts about whether or not Dwight Howard would be properly utilized.

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Phil Jackson leans to Michael Jordan over Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant Michael JordanLooks like Phil Jackson won’t be back to coach the Los Angeles Lakers any time too soon.

In his new memoir “Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success” that will be out next Tuesday, Jackson finally compares Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant as players. Jackson clearly favors MJ over Kobe.

Jackson has won 11 championship rings as a coach — six with the Chicago Bulls and five with the Lakers. He mostly avoided comparing MJ and Kobe — two of the greatest players ever, both of whom were star players on his teams — until now. That’s probably because he was still in the middle of his coaching career when he wrote his first book.

According to excerpts from the book shared by the Los Angeles Times, Jackson calls Jordan a “tougher, more intimidating defender,” and says Kobe sometimes forces the action. He also said Jordan had superior skills to Kobe as a leader.

“No question, Michael was a tougher, more intimidating defender. He could break through virtually any screen and shut down almost any player with his intense, laser-focused style of defense,” Jackson writes, per The Times.

“Kobe has learned a lot from studying Michael’s tricks, and we often used him as our secret weapon on defense when we needed to turn the direction of a game. In general, Kobe tends to rely more heavily on his flexibility and craftiness, but he takes a lot of gambles on defense and sometimes pays the price.”

[RELATED: Which player would Jackson choose to start a team?]

Jackson also commented on Kobe’s 81-point game against the Toronto Raptors and noted the difference in shooting percentage between the two; Kobe is 45.4 percent for his career, whereas Jordan was 49.7.

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