Even if Phil Jackson wants to return to the Los Angeles Lakers, and even if everyone from Kobe Bryant to Mitch Kupchak to Dwight Howard to Paul Gasol endorses the move, does that necessarily mean he will get the job?
The man with the ultimate answer is pictured to the left.
He is Jim Buss, son of majority owner Jerry Buss, and sister of Jackson’s significant other, Jeanie Buss.
Yes, it is a tangled web.
Mike Brown, who was fired Friday, was Jim Buss’ pick over Brian Shaw. Andrew Bynum, whose potential and whose balky knees were dealt to Philadelphia in the Dwight Howard trade, was a product of Jim Buss’ draft night strategy. When the Lakers decided to clean out their front office two summers ago after Jackson left (a bloodbath that undoubtedly irked Jackson), Jim Buss’s fingerprints were all over the pink slips.
So maybe is this about Jim Buss more than it is about Phil Jackson. He runs the show in Lakerland more than people realize (unless you read Hall of Famer Mark Heisler’s columns on this site).
I discussed with Dan Bernstein and Terry Boers on WSCR 670 The Score in Chicago.