Since Stephon Marbury scoring 45 in a losing effort to LA isn’t a hot enough story to hold our attention, let us instead turn to the New York Post’s Marc Berman and his conversation with Jeannie Buss.
In an interview by the Staples Center court before the Lakers hosted the Knicks, Buss spoke of the passion that Jackson ” a member of the Knicks’ two championship teams ” still has for the Big Apple.
“It was such a great time of his life,” Buss told The Post. “I totally see him back in New York. We were talking about Bill Bradley a couple of hours ago.”
Buss joined Jackson on his book-signing tour through New York in the fall.
“When he was in New York in October, he wanted to take me places, wanted to show me everything,” Buss said. “He’s got a love of the city. A friend of a friend sent to me a New York Knicks team picture when he was on the team. It had all the signatures but they needed Phil’s. We sat down. Told me all the stories.”
Asked if Jackson and Jeanie could be a package deal for the Knicks, she giggled and said, “Well, maybe if he gave me a ring I’d think of something like that. But I don’t think our relationship will be like that. I don’t think I can leave my family business.”
The Lakers executive admitted, though, that Jackson still could turn down all the jobs available because he seems unsure he wants to coach again.
“As close as I am to Phil, I still don’t know if he wants to coach,” she said, echoing the Tuesday comments of Jackson’s friend and biographer, Charley Rosen.
“What’s important to me is he’s healthy and feels good. . . . I can’t get a read one way or another [if he'll coach]. If he does, I want to make sure wherever he goes he has the support we gave him here.”
Buss said she once feared him leaving for the Knicks next season, thinking it was the end of their relationship. Now she’s fine with the idea, even if his returning to the Lakers would be her first choice.
She goes to New York twice a season for the NBA’s Board of Governor’s meetings.
“At the end of last season, when he wasn’t coming back, I didn’t know where our relationship would go,” she said. “I felt a lot of panic keeping him here. Now that we’ve gone though this year, our relationship is as strong as ever. Do I worry about him going to New York? I don’t have that concern anymore.”
The Daily Tribune’s Pat Caputo weighs in on MSU’s Tom Izzo and speculation that Cleveland’s new ownership group might try to make a play for the current King Of Kalamazoo. Conjecture is good and fine, but I seriously doubt Izzo is focused on anything other than Saturday’s game. Or at least that’s what I was saying to Chuck Fairbanks on the cell phone while shopping at Louis Vuitton.