Los Angeles Lakers Rumors: Jeanie Buss Describes How Mike D'Antoni Hiring Left Her "Practically Destroyed"

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Sep 23, 2013 12:53 PM EDT
Dwight Howard Rumor: Mike D'Antoni
Los Angeles Lakers head coach Mike D'Antoni (L) and Dwight Howard (R) react on the sidelines as the Lakers trail the Los Angeles Clippers, and after Howard fouled out of the game, during the second half of their NBA basketball game in Los Angeles January 4, 2013. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok "

Los Angeles Lakers head of business operations, Jeanie Buss has re-released her memoir "Laker Girl", which now features a new chapter that describes the situation within the Lakers following the firing of Mike Brown, that eventually led to the hiring of coach Mike D'Antoni.

In the new chapter Buss doesn't discuss how the Lakers contacted Phil Jackson, but instead tells how it "practically destroyed" her and how she felt that she had been betrayed by her brother Jim.

The chapter begins with Jim telling Jeanie that they've decided to fire Brown, and that he wanted to open the lines of communication on whether or not he thought he and Jackson would be able to work together, with Jeanie citing the example of how they were able to transform Andrew Bynum into one of the best centers around.

Jeanie gave her brother Jim Jackson's phone number, and a meeting was later set up between the two and general manager Mitch Kupchak on a Saturday night.

Jackson left the meeting feeling good about everything, and on that Sunday, Jeanie said Jackson was wearing a Lakers Hawaiian shirt and was mentally preparing himself  for the job, but later received a phone call from Kupchak saying that the team has decided to instead go with D'Antoni.

"By the next day, stories began coming out in the media that Phil wanted part ownership of the team, had demanded a ridiculous salary, and had insisted on not traveling with the team on some of our road trips.

None of that was true. . . ."

Both Jackson and Jeanie were shocked by the these developments, as Jeanie spent the next part of the excerpt trying to figure out why her brother would reach out to Jackson and instead go with D'Antoni.

Two days after the decision Jeannie was at the Lakers gym, and began "crying hysterically" about everything and had to be removed from the facility.

"The sequence of events - Phil almost coming back and then being told someone else was better for the job - practically destroyed me. It almost took away my passion for this job and this game. It felt like I had been stabbed in the back. It was a betrayal. I was devastated.

I felt that I got played. Why did they have to do that? Why did Jim pull Phil back into the mix if he wasn't sincere about it? . . ."

Jeanie ended the chapter by saying that the lines of communication between her and Jim still haven't opened as they don't talk much, and feels that it can be productive that way being that they both run different parts of the organization.

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