Tag:Jeanie Buss
Posted on: September 12, 2011 9:37 am
Edited on: September 12, 2011 9:42 am

Jerry West recounts slights from Phil Jackson

By Matt Moore

Jerry West has a new autobiography coming out, and the San Jose Mercury News has some excerpts and a look at West who recently purchased a small stake of the Warriors and is working as a consultant on the basketball side. Most notable is his description of how Phil Jackson treated the former Laker great when Jackson took over as Lakers head coach:
West says he was definitely troubled by Jackson’s relationship with Jeanie Buss and was put off by much of what Jackson was doing (Jackson’s first year was West’s last with the Lakers).

”So one of the problems I had with Phil was this,” West writes. “His office was right near mine and when he would arrive in the morning, he would walk right past and never even bother to wave or duck his head in to say hello.

“He would later say that he felt the need to stake out his territory, that on top of that he was ’a wack job,’ but I am sure it was more than that.”

West compares Jackson’s attitude to Pat Riley’s reach for more power after winning titles as the Laker coach, but West suggests that Jackson’s display was a colder version to experience.

“Phil and I had no relationship,” West writes. “None. He didn’t want me around and had absolutely no respect for me–of that, I have no doubt.”
via Jerry West on Phil Jackson, Wilt, Kareem, Kobe, Magic and everything : A searing, searching autobiography | Talking Points. 

West goes on to discuss the time when Jackson threw him out of the locker room dismissively. It's a wholly ugly situation that doesn't speak well of Jackson, who so often is discussed as the lovable "Zen Master" despite a long standing history of dismissing and disparaging other coaches, players, and league personnel. For West, it's a window into the hurt he felt over his separation from the Lakers, and puts a pretty big nail in any remaning coffin concerning his possible involvement in the Pau Gasol trade (which occurred after West had left the Grizzlies anyway). 

West is known to be sensitive. He takes things very personally and suffers through the negative events in his life. But the excerpt provides a clearer window into the Lakers' organization and Jackson's acerbic behavior. It also serves, along with a discussion of the deterioration of West's relationship with Jerry Buss, as an example of how the Lakers organization generally throws its history in the garbage pail. Magic Johnson is the rare exception of a player to continue having a good relationship with the team. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shaquille O'Neal, Bryan Shaw, the list goes on for people torched by the organization once their usefulness had run its course. It happens a lot in sports. I just happens a lot with the Lakers. Kind of odd for arguably the greatest franchise in sports. 

Then again, the Lakers did just give him his own statue outside Staples Center. So things can't be that bad. 

Posted on: January 22, 2011 3:30 pm
Edited on: January 22, 2011 3:38 pm

Phil Jackson co-signs Jeanie Buss on contraction

Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson agrees with his girlfriend, Jeanie Buss, on the idea of NBA contraction. Posted by Ben Golliver. jeanie-buss

Back on Thursday, we noted a report that Los Angeles Lakers executive vice president for busineses affairs Jeanie Buss said that she believed the NBA needed to consider contraction, eliminating a few lesser-profitable teams so that the league as a whole would be in better financial shape.

Asked by ESPNLA.com for his reaction to the comments, Lakers coach and Buss' boyfriend Phil Jackson first blamed NBA commissioner David Stern for the idea and then took it a step further, suggesting that reducing the NBA from 30 teams to 24 teams sounded good to him.
"I think that's what the commissioner said so I think she's probably parroting what the commissioner said," Jackson said. When asked for his thoughts about contraction, Jackson said, "I will parrot what both of them said" before expanding on the thought.
"I think [the league has] some parameters that they want to meet in some of the markets," Jackson said. "I think they'll set up some goals that way and I think that will be a helpful thing for the league. Taking New Orleans for example, they had to meet a certain number of ticket holders for them to come in the league, so there are some parameters that are important."

"You like to have six in the division and 24 is really a great number [of teams] at one time," Jackson said.
As we noted back on Thursday, these comments from a big-market, high-profile league mainstay are like fingernails on a chalkboard for small-market teams and their employees heading into the labor talks. While contraction is a direct threat to the players' position as it represents a loss of roster spots and jobs, hundreds of other team employees would be looking at job losses as well. In that light, contraction talk is not just owners vs. players, it's rich owners vs. poor owners. 

When push comes to shove, it's unlikely that a majority of NBA owners would support contracting some of their brethren, especially given the ever-present alternatives of relocation and/or new foreign ownership. In the meantime, though, contraction becomes a huge elephant in the room when the owners meet to negotiate with the players, because the owners aren't presenting a unified stance on such a key issue.
Category: NBA
Posted on: January 20, 2011 7:14 pm
Edited on: January 20, 2011 9:05 pm

Lakers exec Jeanie Buss floats NBA contraction

Los Angeles Lakers executive vice president for business affairs Jeanie Buss says the NBA should consider contraction. Posted by Ben Golliver.jeannie-buss

Good news, LeBron James: Phil Jackson's significant other totally co-signs your thoughts on contraction!

In a feature piece posted on the Wall Street Journal's website , Los Angeles Lakers executive vice president for business affairs Jeanie Buss said that she believes the NBA may need to consider contracting franchises, focusing on those that are struggling financially.
As a result, Ms. Buss even mentioned in an interview with the Journal that the NBA should consider getting smaller by folding some of its weaker franchises in poorly performing markets.
“I would hate to see us lose teams, but I think contraction is something we have to consider,” Ms. Buss said. “We may be in some markets we shouldn’t be in.”

In a sign of what Ms. Buss will be in for over the coming months, an official with the the NBA’s players union seized on her statements and said the issue of contraction was “clearly dividing the owners.”

“If the owners are not on the same page it will make it that much more difficult to get a collective bargaining agreement,” the official said.
Jackson made somewhat similar headlines in December when he said he wasn't happy about the NBA stepping in to purchase the struggling New Orleans Hornets. Jackson's comments were more directed at relocating the Hornets rather than folding them, though, so Buss goes further here.

Miami Heat forward LeBron James, of course, caused a national media tidal wave in December when he said the NBA should consider eliminating some teams so that it could get back to the league's glory days of the 1980s.

It's understandable that an executive from a large-market, highly-profitable, luxury-tax paying team would view contraction as a step in their best interest and in the best interest of the league. It is somewhat surprising, though, that these comments would be made publicly, as team executives are usually loathe to comment on hot-button CBA topics for fear of fines from commissioner David Stern's office, and many view negotiating in public as detrimental to the overall cause.

What's even more interesting is that Lakers owner Jerry Buss, Jeanie's father, said in November that he would support increased revenue sharing, a policy that would obviously make things easier financially for small-market teams and, by extension, make contraction less likely. 

Where does this leave us? Well, it's the first public internal fissure in ownership's position, as small-market owners league-wide obviously cannot support these comments. The Players' Association made a thorough effort to bring James back into the fold after his contraction statements; it will be intriguing to watch how the league office and the NBA's other owners respond to Buss's declaration.
Posted on: November 10, 2010 3:30 pm
Edited on: November 10, 2010 3:31 pm

West statue joining Magic outside Staples

West to be honored with Staples Center statue at All-Star Weekend 2011. Posted by Matt Moore

Magic, you've got company.

ESPN LA reports that the Lakers have commissioned a statue which will be unveiled at All-Star weekend in February honoring Jerry West. It is the fifth statue to go outside Staples Center, and the third Laker-related piece. All-time great play-by-play man Chick Hearn, Oscar De La Hoya, Wayne Gretzky and of course, Magic, also have statues outside the famous arena.

Jeanie Buss alluded to the commissioning in her recent book, "Laker Girl ," saying that there was a choice to be made between West and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Jabbar, despite all his stats, accolades, and legend, failed to nab the plaster. You have to wonder how much of it was due to his notorious attitude, combined with West's contributions as both a coach and General Manager for the franchise.

West carries the nickname "Mr. Clutch" and was so involved in the team throughout his tenure that during his time as General Manager he could hardly stand to watch the games.

He looked good in gold. He'll look good in bronze.

Posted on: November 1, 2010 11:33 am
Edited on: November 1, 2010 11:37 am

Buss: Jackson 'more than likely' not back in '11

Daughter of Lakers owner, vice president of business operations and girlfriend of Phil Jackson says Hall of Fame coach likely not returning after this season.
Posted by Matt Moore

Getting Phil Jackson back for this season was not a given for the Lakers. Jackson took a good long time before making the decision everyone assumed he was. Who leaves with 11, and not 12? Who leaves with three three-peats, not four? Who lets Kobe Bryant go for six to tie Jordan without him? But still, Jackson wandered the Montana countryside for a long time before finally committing to coming back.

And from the indications from his girlfriend and daughter of Lakers owner Jerry Buss, as well as vice president of business operations for the Lakers Jeanie Buss, this is "more than likely" it for the Hall of Fame coach.


"I think it's really important to him to let these guys know that more than likely, he will not be back. It's weird how history repeats itself, but he left the Bulls as the league went into a labor dispute. Maybe that's part of it. The urgency is this year. Don't think we have time to win any more championships [together]. This is really the last one," Buss said to ESPNLA.com's Brian and Andy Kamenetzky on Thursday.

Jackson being in his last year can't be a surprise, and many assumed that was the case regardless. After all, winning 12 titles between two franchises, getting Kobe to match Jordan's jewelry, putting the nice round stamp on his career, what more could he want? It also means that you can bet LA's focus will be there. The Lakers have looked fantastic early on in their 3-0 start, not showing an ounce of rust. While they'll undoubtedly put the cruise control on as the season goes along, they clearly understand what this season means for this construction of the team, for Bryant, and for Jackson.

This is their biggest season, and this statement from Buss only underlines it.
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