LA Lakers business operations chief, Jeanie Buss, wrote in her memoir that she felt betrayed by the Lakers' hiring of Mike D'Antoni.
In an excerpt from her memoir published in the LA Times on Sunday, Buss said she felt she "got played," referring to the hiring decision made by her brother, Jim Buss. Jeanie Buss' fiance, long-time Lakers coach and Hall of Famer Phil Jackson, was not looking for a job in 2012 but was approached by Jim Buss and was subsequently interviewed.
Jeanie Buss (Credit: donielle via Wikimedia Commons under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license)
Against the female Buss' wishes, though, Jackson was passed over in favor of D'Antoni.
Jim Buss earlier justified the D'Antoni hiring as a dying wish of his father, LA Lakers owner, Jerry Buss, who passed away in February after a long battle with cancer.
"Knowing that in the future we had to rebuild, he felt that Phil was not a guy to rebuild... It was actually more of a respectful thought towards Phil," Buss told ESPN.com in early September.
Jeanie knew of the D'Antoni hiring when the phone rang late one night and Jackson picked it up. She asked him about the call, which came from team general manager, Mitch Kupchak, and Jackson told her that the Lakers had decided to get D'Antoni.
Jim Buss, through Kupchak, also infuriated his sister when he told Jackson that he thought "it will blow over in a month."
To her credit, Jeanie Buss acknowledged in her memoirs that she was in charge of business decisions and matters related to basketball would be handled by her brother. She also alluded to her father's wish to hire D'Antoni as a way to return to "Showtime," the Lakers' golden age of uptempo, entertaining basketball.
"But there was only one Showtime, never to be replicated. My dad knew that," Buss wrote.
While she rarely discusses basketball with her brother, she wouldn't mind doing so, saying, "I want my brother to realize that I'm not the enemy."
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