December 28th 2016 at 10:45pm CST by Chris Crouse
Phil Jackson announced via Twitter that he and Lakers team president Jeanie Buss have decided to end their engagement, explaining how the distance between the two has made sustaining a relationship a difficult feat. Jackson is under contract with the Knicks for two more seasons after this one, but his contract contains a mutual option that would allow either side to opt out this upcoming summer. Tim Bontemps of The Washington Post speculates that the decision to part ways with Buss could mean that Jackson is planning on staying on as New York’s team president. The Zen Master will make $12MM if he returns to the Knicks next season.
Here’s more from around the league:
- When Jackson took the Knicks‘ job, the league made Jackson and Buss sign documents to ensure there would be no conflicts of interest between the two clubs, Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com reports. Sources tell Shelburne that the documents included a provision that the duo inform the NBA and its owner should they ever decided to marry.
- Jackson had long been rumored to be a candidate for a role in the Lakers’ front office should Buss decide to make changes, though with the news of their break-up, it appears that door has closed, Bill Oram of the Los Angeles Daily News writes. Oram speculates that Jerry West return to the organization in some capacity should the team make organizational changes.
- Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer details how the Clippers are finding success without Blake Griffin in the lineup and the scribe wonders if the team should trade the oft-injured power forward. O’Connor notes that Griffin’s contract, which expires after this season, could dissuade rival teams from giving up valuable assets for the him, as he could simply walk in free agency.
- Despite owner Mark Cuban‘s declaration that the team isn’t interested in tanking, the Mavericks would be wise to trade Andrew Bogut with the future in mind, O’Connor argues in the same piece. O’Connor lists several teams, including the Blazers and the Celtics, that could use the big man’s defense.