Ex-Lakers and Bulls head coach Phil Jackson usually is in the business of collecting rings. This time, he’s giving one away.
And that makes his longtime girlfriend Jeanie Buss very happy.
No, Jackson is not giving Buss one of the 13 NBA title rings he won as player (2) and coach (11). As the daughter of Lakers’ owner Jerry Buss and VP of Business for the Lakers, Jeanie has her own collection. This one is a little more personal for the couple.
As Buss wrote on her Twitter account Thursday: “Twitter family – Phil finally gave me that ring I wanted! :-)”
She added a picture of a sparkling diamond engagement ring — an Emerald Cut, for those of you who follow such things.
Buss and Jackson began dating in 2001 and have been together ever since, throughout his two tenures with the Lakers, during which he coached the team to five championships.
So while Jackson may have been thrown over by soon-to-be-father-in-law Jerry for Mike D’Antoni in the team’s latest coaching search, Jackson did nothing of the sort to Jeanie.
Jackson has five children and seven grandchildren from a former marriage. It will be the second marriage for both. Buss previously was married in the 80’s to pro volleyball star Steve Timmons.
It may have been a surprise to Jeanie that Jackson actually popped the question. While doing media interviews in 2010 for her book “Laker Girl,” she told the Los Angeles Times, “I know Phil and I are never going to be married. …I don’t think I’ll ever be married again.”
Happily for her, she misjudged her future husband.