The Los Angeles Lakers have been the center of rumors once again, this time involving a potential front office shake-up. After the New York Knicks fired head coach Derek Fisher this week, Adrian Wojnarowski of the Vertical reported that there is an expectation around the NBA that Knicks president Phil Jackson will eventually reunite with his fiancee, Lakers president Jeanie Buss, and run the Lakers front office.
Jackson has an opt-out in his Knicks' contract this summer, leading some to speculate that if a Buss-Jackson-Lakers reunion were to take place, it would happen this off-season. Mark Medina of the L.A. Daily News shot down those rumors during a radio appearance on the Beast 980, telling hosts Wes Clements and Vincent Bonsignore that Jackson would not be taking over the Lakers front office this year.
"That's been a perception throughout the league that at some point Phil is going to come back to the Lakers after being done with the Knicks, but I can tell you that there is a zero percent chance of that happening this summer," said Medina. "It's been made clear to me that there's not going to be any changes in the front office.
"The only change that could possibly happen would be as early as the 2017 off-season," Medina continued. "You have to keep in mind, that was when Jim Buss said 'that's the timeline, if the Lakers aren't able to head to the Western Conference Finals by that point, I'll step down' and Jeanie Buss has told me and others since then she will hold him accountable to that, but obviously it's still 2016 now, and in her view she wants to see how this plays out."
The self-imposed deadline from Jim Buss to get the Lakers back to contention was always strange, but it seems the Lakers will be sticking to it. The franchise worst record the team appears headed for could force Jeanie's hand, but for now it sounds like Jim and general manager Mitch Kupchak will have at least one more season to get the Lakers headed in the right direction.
All quotes transcribed via the Beast 980. You can follow this author on Twitter at @hmfaigen.