Lovebirds Buss, Jackson to sign conflict of interest pact

AFP| Updated: Mar 22, 2014, 09:21 AM IST

Los Angeles: New York Knicks president Phil Jackson and his fiancee, Los Angeles Lakers president Jeanie Buss, have been asked by the NBA to sign a document dealing with potential conflicts of interest.

Buss told KSPN radio in Los Angeles about the league`s concern in the wake of Jackson, who won a record 11 NBA titles as a coach, taking over control of the Knicks this week.

"There`s a document we have to sign that deal with conflicts of interest," Buss told the sports radio station in an interview.

"I understand. I`ll sign it. I don`t see any problem going forward."

Buss and Jackson became a couple during Jackson`s tenue as coach of the Lakers, whom he guided to five NBA crowns from 2000 until retiring in 2011 after having coached the Chicago Bulls to six NBA titles in the 1990s with Michael Jordan as their star playmaker.

Many Laker fans hoped Jackson might get the call to serve a similar position as he now enjoys in New York with the Lakers, but Buss did not go that way.

Following the death of her father, late Lakers owner Jerry Buss, six Buss siblings are the majority owners of the Lakers, although she has control of operational decisions.

"I`m the boss," she said. "I`m responsibile ultimately for anything with the team and decisions that are made.

"Ultimately I am the one voice. I am that person. I`m at the top of the food chain."

But she admits "when it comes to major decisions in any area of the organization I like to get the blessings of the shareholders, of which my siblings are the majority, and build a consensus."

But when it came to Jackson, the Lakers basically were not willing to give him, or anyone else, the same power he now enjoys with the Knicks, she said.

"People need to understand. It isn`t just Phil. They don`t need anybody else. Everything is covered. There is no additional need for anybody to come in," she said.

With the Lakers at 22-45, some fans see a need, but she has confidence in her brother, Lakers vice president of player personnel Jim Buss, and Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak handling basketball decisions for the club.

"Jimmy and Mitch have a like mind in how they see the game and what they want to accomplish with this team and they have it under control," she said. "They don`t need another voice, whether that`s Phil or whoever. They`ve got it covered."

But she would not have minded had Jackson been working in the Lakers` organization either.

"Selfishly, I wanted it to be in the same office so we could carpool together," she said.