Lakers vice president Jeannie Buss said on Tuesday that she believes Phil Jackson would be coaching the Knicks had the Lakers job not become available.
“I have no doubt that Phil would have taken the New York job had the Lakers job not become available,” Jeannie Buss told The Post. “He is very sentimental about the Knicks
Thomas said he believes it was more a personal than business decision.
“I felt very optimistic,” Thomas said about his interview with Jackson. “Optimistic he really wanted to do it and get back into coaching. He really did have a genuine interest in bringing the Knicks back. But I think as he got further in his decision, it wasn’t about the Knicks or Lakers, but where he was in his life, lifestyle, age and family.”
Jeannie mildly disagrees. “Phil wanted to go to a team where he felt he had an opportunity to win a championship and the Lakers presented that chance,” Buss said. “My dad also opened his checkbook. That didn’t hurt.” and was feeling the pull of a return to the team that drafted him. But once I knew my dad was interested in Phil, I had to use whatever influence I had for L.A. I don’t think I was the only factor in Phil’s decision.”