NBA rumors about the athletes playing on the court often dominate headlines around the holiday season, but this week’s new set of rumors all involve New York Knicks president of basketball operations Phil Jackson after announcing he and Los Angeles Lakers team president Jeanie Buss were ending their four-year engagement.
While the ending of the engagement was unfortunate news for the couple, some Los Angeles Lakers fans uncovered a devastating truth after Phil Jackson and Jeanie Buss dissolved their relationship. NBA rumors had swirled since last season that Phil Jackson — who signed a lucrative five-year pact with the New York Knicks in 2014 — would use an escape clause at the end of the third season to return to the Los Angeles Lakers this offseason, according to the Inquisitr.
Rumors that Phil Jackson would gracefully exit a New York Knicks franchise, where he won two NBA championships as a player in the 1970s, to return to a team he led to five NBA titles as a coach from 1999-2010 was put to rest by the Washington Post on Wednesday. In an article addressing the ending of the engagement, the writer noted that Phil Jackson no longer had a reason to return to the Los Angeles Lakers.
“The fact he and Buss broke off their engagement and cited the physical distance between the two as a significant reason behind it would lead one to believe Jackson won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. Jackson’s $12 million annual salary doesn’t hurt, either.”
ESPN not only confirmed the NBA rumors about Phil Jackson and the Los Angeles Lakers potentially reuniting, but the sports network also dispelled them. According to the article, the executives from New York and Los Angeles will be judged on how they mold their teams over the next several years.
“Those close to Jackson say he intends to stay for the full five years of his contract with the Knicks, despite the mutual option that’s built into his contract this summer… Buss must decide whether to reboot the Lakers’ front office. Jackson needs to make the Knicks into a contender.”
The Washington Post article attempted to concretely contend that Phil Jackson would not reunite with the Los Angeles Lakers anytime in the future. With Phil Jackson no longer a viable option for Jeanie Buss should she decide to reorganize the Los Angeles Lakers’ front office staff, fans of the venerable franchise were already looking forward to the return of another Los Angeles great.
“Jackson officially being out of the picture rules out one option and potentially opens the door for others. One of those could be a return in some capacity of Lakers legend Jerry West, who currently is an executive board member of the Golden State Warriors.”
The announcement that the New York Knicks executive and his Los Angeles Lakers counterpart were ending their 17-year relationship came Tuesday night via social media. Phil Jackson posted a statement to his Twitter account from both parties acknowledging the distance between them and “profession obligations” had finally led to the end of their engagement.
Jeanie Buss furthered her thoughts on her own Twitter account. The Los Angeles Lakers team president agreed with the decision as she had to split her attention between the two loves of her life.
The love of my life is the Los Angeles Lakers. I love Phil & will always. It's not fair to him or Lakers to not have my undivided attention— Jeanie Buss (@JeanieBuss) December 28, 2016
ESPN noted that Jeanie Buss seems determined to make a change in the front office this offseason despite Phil Jackson no longer being a viable option. The Los Angeles Lakers may have a hard time selling Phil on a front office position with Jeanie Buss becoming more vocal as the Los Angeles Lakers’ part owner and team president. Currently, New York Knicks owner James Dolan allows Phil Jackson to run the team with little to no interference, according to the article.
Do you agree with NBA rumors that Phil Jackson will not return to the Los Angeles Lakers at the end of this season? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.
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