Lakers Rumors: Phil Jackson, president of the New York Knicks, reportedly wants to return to Los Angeles once Lakers co-owner Jim Buss is ousted as vice president of basketball operations.
Jackson, who coached Lakers to five championships in the 2000s, has not enjoyed a whole lot of success since joining New York on an executive role prior to last season. Jackson is contracted for another two seasons with an opt out clause ahead of the 2017-18 season. However, there’s a strong possibility that Knicks owner James Dolan grants the ‘Zen Master’ his wish, parting ways with Jackson before the completion of his tenure.
Wants badly out of New York…
Michael Grange of Sports Net reported Friday that Jackson will return to L.A. soon after fiancé Jeanie Buss lets go off brother Jim. “One is that Jackson badly wants out of New York, preferring to return back to Los Angeles to be near his fiancée, Lakers scion Jeanie Buss. Jackson is believed to have an out in his Knicks deal that could free him up to do just that at the end of next season unless things between him and Dolan become untenable before that. It’s believed that as soon as Jeanie’s brother Jim Buss — blamed for the Lakers current free fall — is somehow removed from the scene, Jackson will be back as soon as he can engineer it.”
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For Jackson to return to L.A., Jeanie Buss would have to essentially sack the entire front office and usher in a new era. Jackson and Jim Buss working cohesively is not a conceivable option. Remember, Jackson wanted to return to Lakers in 2012 but Jim made the controversial decision to hire Mike D’Antoni instead. Ever since that decision, siblings Jim and Jeanie have reportedly grown apart and aren’t in the best of terms.
Last season, Jeanie assured the Lakers fanbase that Jim would be sent packing if the team didn’t become a championship contender within three seasons. With the Lakers plummeting to their worst season in franchise history, there’s a feeling around the league there could be wholesale changes in the organization going forward.
Will Phil Jackson return to Los Angeles next season? Stay tuned for Lakers Rumors.