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Imagine this: Husband and wife are sitting down enjoying a perfectly-cooked steak dinner (made by the house-chef of course). Husband asks his wife to pass the mashed-potatoes. She does and in return he politely says “thank you.” Then after he shovels some off onto his plate he asks, “So how’d the meeting with Carmelo Anthony go last night? Because my team cannot afford to lose him.”
This is exactly the very interesting situation that New York Knicks president Phil Jackson and Los Angeles Lakers president Jeanie Buss are currently wrapped up in. Okay, so while they’re not “officially” husband and wife yet, but it fits the story all the better.
Last Thursday, free-agent and formally of the Knicks, Carmelo Anthony met with both the Lakers and Knicks in Los Angeles, according to CBS Sports. Anthony first met with Buss’ team in the Lakers at their facility, and then met with Jackson, new head coach Derek Fisher and the Knicks.
Could you imagine? The possible fate of “your” franchise hanging in the balance with your own fiancée as the opposing threat.
When Jackson was hired by New York during the late stages of the 2014 season, many called it a “conflict of interest” as his current relationship with Jeanie Buss (the Buss family owns the Lakers) is literally family. While Jerry Buss, Jeanie’s father and owner of the Lakers, and Jackson had a falling out, his relationship between Jeannie is still obviously strong.
The NBA recognized this immediately and addressed it with a statement as soon as Jackson was hired in March.
"The Knicks' hiring of Phil Jackson is subject to the league's conflict of interest rules," NBA spokesman Mike Bass told ESPN. "To avoid even the appearance of a conflict, we have addressed the issue with the Knicks and Lakers to ensure that the relationship between Jeanie Buss and Phil Jackson will not affect how the teams operate."
The two have been dating since 1999, and finally got engaged in December 2012, so realizing this, it was understandable why the league acted so swiftly. But still it is still very interesting, especially in the off-season, to see both franchises going head-to-head for a specific free agent.
While Jeanie still works for the Lakers and her father, there are several reports that she and her brother, Jim Buss, are still not on speaking terms due to the way Jim treated Jackson in recent years. Jackson was close to returning as head coach of the Lakers before Jim made the decision to hire Mike D’Antoni. This infuriated Jeanie, and Jackson went his merry way to New York.
With everything that has gone on, I do not know how Jerry Buss and Jim Dolan (owner of the Knicks), operate without the use of some Tums or Pepto-Bismol at an arms-reach. The two (Jeanie and Jackson), are so tied at the hip that it’s scary.
Like all dramas though this one is nowhere near its end. There will be many twists and turns to come, but one thing is for sure. The NBA will have a close eye on this sticky situation throughout its entirety.
image courtesy of Jennifer Graylock/INFphoto.com