Jackson expected to have the opportunity to either accept or reject the position, but the Lakers chose to go in a completely different direction.
In an interview with USA Today, Jackson said he believes the final say came down to the team's then-owner, the late
"When I left [the interview], [Lakers owner/executive] Jimmy [Buss] was pretty happy about it and [General Manager]
Jerry Buss passed away in February 2013 due to cancer-related complications.
The Lakers had fired
While Jackson is engaged to Lakers co-owner/executive Jeanie Buss, he doesn't have much of any influence on the franchise's basketball decisions.
"Mitch, obviously has a relationship with Jimmy that has been going on since I think 2004 or so, when he started becoming really involved," said Jackson. "So for the last 10 years, he and Mitch have been pretty much working together."
Does Jackson feel he has a place in the Lakers' front office?
"They've got a relationship, so I don't see that happening," he said.
Decimated by injury, the Lakers are currently 21-39 on the season, well out of playoff range. But the team will have significant spending power over the next few summers.
Jackson singled out a free-agent target for the team, and the possibility of the Lakers keeping
"There's a limited free-agent market this year.
Deng is in the last year of his contract, playing with the
Jackson isn't sure the Lakers will invest heavily this summer.
"I think the Lakers will probably stay pretty pat," he said. "They can look and see if they can't get a core group of young players playing together. Trust the fact that Mike [D'Antoni] can kind of blend a gun-and-run and run-and-gun team."
D'Antoni still has two years left on his contract, although the last year (for the 2015-16 season) is a team option.
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