Phil Jackson And Jeanie Buss Call It Quits

By Mark Dan, Posted: 12/30/16 02:34AM EST

New York Knicks president Phil Jackson and Los Angeles Lakers president Jeanie Buss announced on Twitter last Tuesday that they are no longer engaged. The couple started dating when Jackson was coaching the Los Angeles Lakers in 1999, which Jeanie's family owns. Their four-year engagement was called off when both parties posted tweets that their engagement has come to an end.

The 71-year-old Knicks president coached the LA Lakers from 1999-2004 and 2005-2011. Phil aka "The Zen Master" won five titles during his stint with the Lakers, a three-peat during the Shaq-Kobe era, then another back-to-back title run during his second stint with a Kobe-led Lakers. Jackson has won a total of 11 championships as a head coach, but has been unable to duplicate his success as a team executive for the New York Knicks.

Jeanie Buss is the daughter of the longtime Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss, and she is now running the show for the Lakers in Los Angeles, which is thousands of miles away from New York and Phil Jackson. She tweeted on Tuesday that the love of her life is the Lakers and she will always love Phil, but it is unfair to have the same focus for her team and the Knicks' team president, according to NBC Sports.

This was not just an ordinary love story, to begin with. Jeanie Buss was the daughter of the owner of the most powerful and popular franchise in the NBA, while Phil Jackson is one of the most successful head coaches in the history of the league. They made their impossible romance work for almost two decades and also helped each other out in leading the Los Angeles Lakers to consecutive titles, in a report by ESPN.

When Phil Jackson retired as coach of the Lakers in 2011, things started to change. The Lakers declined to hire Jackson as head coach in 2012, and hired Mike D'Antoni instead. The franchise assembled an all-star cast of Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Dwight Howard and Steve Nash and Phil was willing to come out of retirement to help the team owned by his fiance win another title, but the Lakers management chose to stick with Mike D'Antoni.

As the years went by, Phil focused on the struggling Knicks and Jeanie just focused on rebuilding the Lakers. Jackson badly wants New York to be a contender and one of the elite teams in the league, while the Lakers are still trying to find a new leader in the post-Kobe Bryant era.

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