Lakers owner Jeanie Buss revealed recently that she is still in contact with Lakers legends Earvin “Magic” Johnson and former head coach Phil Jackson. Buss is the daughter of the Lakers former owner Jerry Buss.
ESPN reported earlier this year that Buss was in contact quite often with Johnson. And last week she revealed that she also reaches out to Phil Jackson as well. She stated that she talks to both men for advice regarding the team as well as personal life. This news comes as a surprise to many, who were unsure of where the Buss family’s stood with both men.
Johnson first came to the Lakers in 1979. In his first season, he won the team their seventh championship. He was the first draft pick selected by the senior Buss. From that season on, Johnson became an integral part of the Lakers organization, and the Buss family as well. He won five championships with the team, and became the leader of the “Showtime Lakers”. In 2017, Jeanie Buss brought Johnson in as the President of Basketball operations. His tenure with the front office only lasted two years. The team saw no playoff games and had two consecutive losing seasons. After his exit from the team, Johnson stated that he loved mentoring, but the business side of things was not for him.
Phil Jackson came to the Lakers in 1999 as a head coach. After winning six NBA championships with the Bulls, Jackson was brought in to lead the Lakers back to their winning ways. He won five championships with the Lakers from 1999-2010. His tenure ended with the Lakers after his health began to decline.
Although he retired from basketball, many began to speculate that his relationship with the front office was to blame. The rumors really began to swirl when Shaquille O’Neal requested to be traded after stating the team “fired” Jackson.
Where They Stand Now
Buss’ statements seem to have put an end to all of the speculation surrounding her relationship with the two legendary Lakers. As the Lakers look towards the future, it seems it may be beneficial to look to the past for advice. Johnson and Jackson have no intention to come back to the organization, but they are always willing to help.
After last season, it seems that the Lakers are looking for a younger group of players to help LeBron James and Anthony Davis. With the help of Johnson and Jackson, it seems the team could make a real turn around.
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