Lakers Rumors: Jeanie Buss, Jackson, Kobe

The draft is the major story for most of the teams surrouding the Lakers in our Reverse Standings, but the drama is always multifaceted in L.A. Here’s the latest:

  • Lakers co-owner Jeanie Buss is the team’s governor and ultimate decision-maker, and commissioner Adam Silver recently told her that she should be more assertive in exerting her authority over the team, according to Bleacher Report’s Kevin Ding. That’s somewhat surprising, given that the league has also acknowledged concerns about a conflict of interest between Buss and her fiance, Knicks president Phil Jackson.
  • Four of the six Buss siblings, each of whom owns a share of the Lakers, were in favor of bringing Jackson back to the organization, but Jim and Johnny Buss were not, Ding adds in the same piece. It’s unclear at what point the four siblings wanted Jackson to return.
  • Privately, the Lakers, Jeanie Buss included, are relieved that Jackson is off to New York and that he no longer casts a shadow over the organization, Ding observes.
  • Jackson never seemed to understand how much of an intimidating presence he is to the Buss family, helping forestall any reunion between Jackson and the Lakers, writes Ramona Shelburne of
  • There was talk among the Buss family of bringing Jackson back to the Lakers in an informal role, but the team never approached Jackson with the idea, Shelburne reports in the same piece.
  • Steve Nash “doesn’t disagree” that Kobe Bryant and Mike D’Antoni aren’t a good fit with each other, as the point guard told ESPN radio’s Colin Cowherd on Monday (transcription via Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News). Nash nonetheless added that he doesn’t think Bryant and D’Antoni have had enough of a chance to decide how they feel about each other.
  • Amin Elhassan of, in an Insider-only piece, weighs the rebuilding jobs facing the Lakers and the Knicks, concluding that New York’s road is easier, given Jackson’s presence and superior existing talent.

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