Posted September 22, 2013

Jeanie Buss says Lakers hiring Mike D’Antoni over Phil Jackson was ‘betrayal’

NBA
(David Livingston/Getty Images)

Lakers exec Jeanie Buss says she felt like she’d been “stabbed in the back” when her brother hired Mike D’Antoni. David Livingston/Getty Images)

Los Angeles Lakers executive vice president of business operations — and fiancee of legendary coach Phil Jackson — Jeanie Buss calls the team’s decision to hire Mike D’Antoni over Jackson last November “a betrayal” in her upcoming updated memoir, “Laker Girl,” saying that it “practically destroyed me.”

In an excerpt from the book published in The Los Angeles Times, Buss provides extensive details on the Lakers’ coaching search following the firing of Mike Brown five games into last season, revealing that her brother Jim Buss — the executive VP of player personnel, who had a contentious relationship with Jackson — led the charge to choose D’Antoni.

I felt that I got played. Why did they have to do that? Why did Jim pull Phil back into the mix if he wasn’t sincere about it? . . .

Phil wasn’t looking for the job, and then he wasted 36 hours of his life preparing for it when they were never in a million years going to hire him anyway.

How do you do that to your sister? How do you do that to Phil Jackson?

Buss explains that her late father Jerry, who died in February, trusted Jim with the decision, but knew that the “Showtime” teams of the 1980s could “never be replicated” as Jim was hoping to do.

She also details Jim’s choice to bring Jackson back into the mix, his meeting with Jackson at Jackson’s house, Jackson’s reported lofty contract demands, which Buss says are false, and the moment they found out about D’Antoni’s hire.

After we went to bed, the house phone rang at 11:30. I heard Phil pick it up and say, “Okay, alright. Okay.”

When he hung up, I asked him what that was about, and he said, “Mitch called to tell me they’ve hired D’Antoni. He said that they feel given the personnel they have that D’Antoni is a better fit. He said they know they are going to take a bit of a PR hit, but he thinks it will blow over in a month.”

“He said it will blow over in a month?” I repeated in disbelief.

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44 comments
josephf
josephf

can she keep the family issues behind close doors?  as a season ticket holder i don't want to hear the whining about the past.  d'antoni is the coach and let's just get on with it.

mike202
mike202

No sympathy from me.  She voted against moving the Kings to Seattle despite her Boyfriend being the new GM.  Seems like 'Betrayal' runs in the family.

The Admiral
The Admiral

My grandmother could have won championships if she had the same roster Phil Jackson had. He is mediocre at best. 

bhayes420
bhayes420

He should have hired Jackson.  As far as outrageous salary demands, Phil can ask for whatever he wants, and he would be worth it.  Who has more championships than Phil?  Uh...how about NOBODY.  And ownership...as soon as he and Buss are married, he will have a stake in ownership.  The Lakers screwed themselves when they passed Phil over.  

1ma
1ma

Jeannie "SHUT UP" just run the business  and move forward. 

lionoah
lionoah

She's right. Jimmy made the mistake by hiring Brown in the first place. Once it was obvious that Brown was a mistake, it was necessary to bring in Jackson no if's, and's or butt's about it. Every single team in the NBA would hire Jackson in a minute as no other active coach can even come close to his skill at managing superstars. That was the issue in L.A. and they failed to apply the ONLY fix that was available. At this point the Lakers traded Bynum for nothing, they have a good but not great coach, and an entitled, seriously injured, stubborn superstar. Do they have any draft picks? They sure don't have much cap room and who can they trade? The shoulda hired Jackson and their failure to do so is essentially the final straw on their way to crippling mediocrity.

joeshine730
joeshine730

Nice to see Jeannie Buss has zero say so in the Lakers organization. Fricking bimbo is clueless.  Old 70 year Jackson is burnt out at both ends.  jeannie is a retread.

joeshine730
joeshine730

Phil left the Lakers previously a beaten down tired old man whose teams quit on Jackson in the end. That said it all as the motivation and drive and respect was lost for Phil. FACT

HOFPufnstuf
HOFPufnstuf

Tired of Phil and Jeannie using memoirs and tell all exclusives to undermine jim. if they want control of the team let them dig in their pockets and buy jimmy boy out. The laker fans are eating all of their baloney, forgetting how decrepit phil looked that last year on the bench. not only that, genius phil was leading them to third consecutive 1st round exit when pau trade revitalized them. Jeannie has done nothing for the team and used to run P.R. and group sales. undermining jim and staging this constant PR seige has me actually feeling sorry for him. phil is a back stabbing sneak. He muscled jerry west out who was the real genius. Not dr. Buss. Dr. Jerry was a lovable, gambling, drunken playvboy who has been deified as red auerbach two. Nevrr forget it was jerry west who buit the showtime lakers and brought in kobe.

mikel roy
mikel roy

get over it.... useless article...

mystafugee
mystafugee

Phil's demands were outrageous, plus he didn't want to coach any road games.  Might as well get someone who is fully committed.  

HerschelAnderton
HerschelAnderton

i'm not sure if this story makes me despise the lakers more than i already do or makes me pity them in some weird way

WilyCoyoteSuperGenius
WilyCoyoteSuperGenius

The reason Phil wasn't hired was his outrageous salary demands, including part ownership of the team. Frankly it smells to me like Jeanie and Phil figured they would end up with control of the team. I wish he had been hired so he would have been exposed as the most over rated coach in NBA history. I'd love to see Jackson coach a team without the best player in the game. I am sure he is disappointed the Heat didn't call too.

tbennett76
tbennett76

Betrayal, maybe.  Idiotic?  Definitely.

laclipperzfan
laclipperzfan

even worse, it was retarded. nepotism for the loss. 

Cool
Cool

The good news for Jim Buss is that... they have ummm... next year they.... ok, I tried but ...nothing.

NoThanksESPNFacebook
NoThanksESPNFacebook

Fredo Buss strikes again. Really Jeanie and the other 5 siblings need to do some kind of takeover. I know Dr. Buss wanted everyone to have a hand in the team but no one has faith in Jim Buss.

2001mark
2001mark

Glad my fav franchises don't have high school drama in the front office.  I suppose that goes for every other franchise in the world save the Lakers too.

wah wah wah wait til' my book hits the shelves... 


thanks Taylor Swift, why don't you write a song about it too

BradJamesDouglass
BradJamesDouglass

OH no 36 hours of his time wasted. I feel so bad for the guy who is a multi millionaire marrying a 23 year old. Forget Wars, Floods, and famine's, this is true tragedy. 

eddie767
eddie767

That's strange,i thought a month had 30 days not over 300. The Lakers won't win with Jim Buss in control and Kobe next in line. An owners ego can't get in the way of business survival.

doublejtrain68
doublejtrain68

...which is why the Lakers are struggling right now. Jerry has been turning in his grave over his idiotic son's decisions. 

Azeron
Azeron

@josephf It's not all about you.  I want to know about this.  If you don't then stay away from stories like this.

grizzlypete
grizzlypete

@The Admiral Your grandmother would have died of a heart attack if she had to deal with Dennis Rodman for three years. Jackson is a great handler of players and their egos. 

Shooter McGavin 19711
Shooter McGavin 19711

@1ma Hi Jim!!  Clearly you aren't wasting time trying to make the Lakers better - as they have become a joke under your leadership - and will continue to flounder.  Further proof that just because you are the offspring of a genius, it doesn't mean you are guaranteed success.  (PS- your sister is about 100 IQ points smarter than you...)

Voiceover310
Voiceover310

@mystafugee Are you really that thick to where you believe a coach asked not to coach any road games? That was all a bunch of BS to begin with. 

BrownLanet
BrownLanet

@mystafugee Did you read the story?  Jeanie says the reports of Phil's demands were bogus.

doublejtrain68
doublejtrain68

@WilyCoyoteSuperGenius Overrated coaches don't win championships. With all due respect, you're not going to win championships with mediocre players, I don't care who you are or how good of a coach you may be. 

jinxster247
jinxster247

@WilyCoyoteSuperGenius  

um those lofty salary demands where false. he never said he did want to go to away games. he probably wanted 10 mill a season. if phil was hired DH would have stayed. and phil would have made DH and Kobe settle things his was and not have kobe blurt out stupid things to DH as he did time after time