NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Phil Jackson is not leaving the Knicks for the Lakers, Jeanie Buss says.
The Lakers co-owner and Jackson’s fiancée was asked Sunday on ESPN Radio about the possibility that Jackson, the Knicks’ president, could opt out of his five-year contract after next season and assume a front-office role with Los Angeles, a team he coached to five world titles.
“He’s committed to New York for many years,” Buss said. “He’s building something there. He has a mission. He’s on that journey to get the team back to where he believes it can be and it will be. He’s a former Knick. … He loves New York. He loves the fans. He wants to make them proud.”
Speculation about Jackson leaving New York has been ongoing for months and got a boost this month when Jackson, a staunch defender of the triangle offense, reportedly offered the Knicks’ head coaching job to Jeff Hornacek, who favors an up-tempo offense. The Knicks have still not announced Hornacek’s hiring.
“In terms of the Lakers, we have a front office,” Buss said. “They’re putting together a team. … They have a vision. I’m excited to see what the future holds for us.”