Jimmy Buss Says "Screw You" to Phil Jackson -- and "Screw You" to Lakers Nation
It was the biggest "Screw You" in hoops history.
lubright Phil Jackson: Learned in a late-night call that his services were not wanted after all.
Phil Jackson is not coaching the Lakers today because Jimmy Buss and Jackson do not like each other and never have.
It's that simple and that complex.
In the battle of wills between one incredibly immature 52-year-old fortunate son and the most accomplished coach in NBA history, the fortunate son simply couldn't summon the maturity to put his personal animosity aside and do what was best for the organization.
Forget all the blather, bullshit and spin barraging Lakers fans for the last 24 hours.
There was one obstacle and one obstacle only to Jackson coaching the Lakers for a third stint: Buss's massive, but insecure, ego.
Now Buss's "sources" and his minions in the media are lying about Jackson and his supposedly unacceptable demands as the reason he didn't get the job.
But Jackson never demanded an ownership stake in the team.
Jackson never demanded that he be excused from traveling to road games.
And Jackson never demanded total control of personnel decisions.
Those on-the-record denials all come straight from Kurt Rambis, a former Lakers player and coach who is close to Jackson. His reputation for candor and truth-telling is far greater than Buss's. "No money was discussed," Rambis told ESPN. "All of these things that are out there about partial ownership, and lack of travel, and no practice time -- all of that stuff is categorically false. None of those conversations ever happened. Ever. It was about whether or not he wanted to come and coach the team."