New York Knicks president Phil Jackson and Los Angeles Lakers president/co-owner Jeanie Buss have been dating since 1999 and engaged since 2012. However, the relationship between the two prominent NBA executives is over, per something of an official release signed by the pair and posted to Jackson’s Twitter account on Tuesday evening.
Jackson’s declaration was then quickly followed by a statement of both confirmation and support from Buss, who even in the face of a break up said that she still has “love and respect” for the Knicks’ president.
The relationship between Jackson and Buss has been highly scrutinized throughout its tenure, including the fact that the NBA put official parameters in place to work against any conflicts of interest back in 2014 when Jackson was hired by the Knicks. Beyond that, speculation has always existed that Jackson could eventually return to the Lakers in an official capacity given the relationship between he and Buss, as well as Jackson’s lengthy and successful tenure as the team’s head coach.
This official announcement should put a swift end to any assumptions of that arrangement in the future, especially given the fact that Jackson cited “professional obligations and the geographic distance” as reasoning for the split.