Los Angeles Lakers controlling owner and president Jeanie Buss is bent on resolving the Russell Westbrook situation which has caused quite a stir in Tinseltown. Buss has admitted to seeking Magic Johnson for advice. Now, the latest rumors reveal that she is stil in touch with legendary coach Phil Jackson.
Purple and Gold ties
Phil Jackson, who guided the Lakers to five titles, was in attendance in the Purple and Gold’s 124-116 win over the Golden State Warriors on Saturday. A report by The Athletic reveals while Jackson was there to enjoy a good old Lakers game, he also has not cut his ties with the organization, particularly Buss.
“Sources say Jackson, the Lakers legend and ex-fiancé of Buss, whose presence at Saturday’s win against Golden State was highlighted by the team’s Twitter account, has been in frequent contact with Buss about team matters all season long. The complicated and often uncomfortable dynamics surrounding the Westbrook situation, in particular, are known to have drawn his interest. As unofficial consultants go, they don’t get much more experienced or credible than Jackson,” the report read.
Buss seeking Jackson’s advice should be of no surprise. The Zen Master is regarded as the greatest coach of all time. Any input from him is worth it. As such, it would be interesting to find out what specifically caught his eye regarding the Westbrook situation. Does the Zen Master have the answer to the Lakers' struggles concerning Westbrook?
Maybe yes, maybe not. One thing is for sure: when Lakers fans saw Jackson in the Warriors’ game, they were relieved. A good chunk of them believed that Frank Vogel’s days along the sidelines are numbered. Sooner or later, Jackson would take over. If not him, then Kurt Rambis — currently a senior adviser and Jackson’s former assistant coach. At this point, give the Lakers fans any legendary or familiar name, and they’ll deem it as the antidote to their frustrations.
Looking back at Phil Jackson and LeBron’s relationship
We cannot talk about the Lakers without mentioning LeBron James. Not only is he the franchise star, but he holds a considerable amount of influence both on the hardcourt and the front office. In fact, James was the one who lobbied for Westbrook in the summer. James wanted another playmaker to have someone help him carry the offensive chores.
As such, it would be interesting to find out if Jackson has had any conversations with LeBron, or if the Zen Master has mentioned James at all in his conversations with Buss. Let’s recall that the two legends — amid their respect for one another — have not exactly seen eye-to-eye.
It all started when Jackson called LeBron’s business associates his “posse” — a tag that carries racial undertones. James has admitted to not being a fan of Jackson after his comments.
Given his iffy relationship with James, Jackson’s entry into the picture does add a little spice to the situation. James is very protective of his circle — a group he’s had even before he stepped foot in the NBA. But at the same time, we all know that LeBron would do everything to win another ring.