In last night's edition of "Jim Rome on Showtime", Jeanie Buss sat down for a one-on-one interview and not surprisingly the subject of Phil Jackson came up. Buss, the President of the Los Angeles Lakers made yet another attempt to explain the absence of Jackson in the upper echelon of the team's management.
Jeanie Buss has been doing media in the past couple of weeks, coming clean about the decision making structure of the Lakers. Her first stop was the team's flagship radio station in Los Angeles, 710AM, an ESPN affiliate that is the home to the Mason & Ireland show.
John Ireland's other job is the lead radio play-by-play guy and for Buss' coming out party, so to speak, it was a soft landing. The good news is that the daughter of the late Dr. Jerry Buss announced that the buck stops with her at the Lakers offices and not just on the business side of the ledger.
Her brother Jim Buss, who along with GM Mitch Kupchak make the basketball decisions report to her. That's the way her dad left it when he passed away in 2013. The bad news is that it means Jeanie was OK with what Jim and Mitch did with the roster and keeping coach Mike D'Antoni. The other huge realization is that she didn't have the muscle or the will to get Phil Jackson a job, necessitating him going elsewhere --- namely the New York Knicks.
On the Rome show she answered the inevitable question about her fiance' landing in New York, rather than making the Lakers his work home. She began the way she has in the recent past by saying there was no job for Phil. How can that be? Well it's really more about the type of job that explains it.
“I’ve empowered Mitch Kupchak and my brother Jim Buss to put together the best team they can. There was no role for Phil Jackson in this organization and that is why he’s not here.” The words missing from Buss' explanation are the following: Phil wanted to run the place and that couldn't happen here.
At least it's out in the open and the words were spoken. We don't have to like the words, we just have to live with them.