Report: Jeanie Buss banished Jerry West and revoked his season tickets after he took issue with her dating Phil Jackson

Mike Battaglino
3 Min Read

Jerry West was one of the most legendary figures in the history of the Los Angeles Lakers, not to mention the NBA overall. But that reportedly didn’t stop Lakers owner Jeanie Buss from banishing the all-time great and revoking his season tickets after West chose to weigh in on her relationship with Phil Jackson.

“After Jerry Buss died, Jeanie Buss inherited the team and wholly excommunicated Jerry West from the franchise, even taking his season tickets,” wrote Ethan Strauss. “According to sources, the bitterness started back when West was critical of Jeanie Buss’ relationship with then Laker coach Phil Jackson. Phil won that particular battle, and ultimately the power struggle with West.”

After an exceptional career for the Lakers as a player that ended with the 1973-74 NBA season, West became general manager of the team prior to the 1982-83 season and eventually would hire Jackson as head coach prior to the 1999-00 campaign.

However, the West-Jackson pairing lasted just one season as West left his position following that 1999-00 campaign, which ended with the Lakers’ sixth NBA championship won under his guidance. The executive built the franchise by bringing in players such as Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant, among many others.

Under Jackson, the Lakers went on to win two more NBA championships, completing a three-peat of titles in 2000, 2001 and 2002. West went on to work for the Memphis Grizzlies, Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Clippers. He reportedly said he wanted to return to the Lakers but that never came to pass.

Known as the inspiration for the NBA logo, West passed away earlier this month at the age of 86. Buss did acknowledge West’s passing on social media, calling him “a hero to our family.”

Buss is the daughter of late former Lakers owner Jerry Buss. She and Jackson were together for 16 years, even after the head coach left the franchise, but the couple called off its engagement in 2016.

West played all 14 of his NBA seasons for the for the Lakers and won the 1972 NBA championship. Known as “Mr. Clutch,” he helped the Lakers reach the NBA Finals nine times during his career as a player, but they lost that series eight times. He is a Basketball Hall of Fame inductee as a player and will garner another honor as a contributor later this year.

A superstar player, West found much more championship success as an executive, cementing him as one of the greatest figures the Lakes have known. Despite that, the relationship between icon and team unfortunately did not end happily for either side.

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Mike is a veteran journalist who has covered the NBA for almost three decades. He remembers the birth of "Showtime" and has always admired the star power the Lakers have brought to the game.