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Phil Jackson and Jeanie Buss got engaged

Dan Devine
Ball Don't Lie

On Thursday evening, Los Angeles Lakers Executive Vice President of Business Operations Jeanie Buss took to Twitter to share with her friends and followers news of a new bauble she'd received:

The piece in question:

View photo


Nice manicure. Oh, and also, that other thing. (Photo via @JeanieBuss)

Naturally, we wondered if this meant that she and longtime beau Phil Jackson had gotten engaged to be married. Buss told Ramona Shelburne of ESPN Los Angeles that they had, saying that she was "beyond happy" to be getting hitched to the "Zen Master."

Ain't love grand?

Jackson, who won two NBA championship rings as a player with the New York Knicks and a record 11 title rings as a head coach with the Chicago Bulls and the Los Angeles Lakers, has been romantically involved with Buss, daughter of Lakers owner Dr. Jerry Buss and the Lakers' executive vice president of business operations, since shortly after he took the Lakers' reins in 1999. Their relationship has persisted through Jackson's dual three-peats five title runs as Lakers bench boss, his somewhat ignominous exit following a four-game sweep by the Dallas Mavericks, and Buss' Lakers' decision to hire Mike D'Antoni rather than their former leader after the firing of Mike Brown in November.

The engagement represents something of a shift in relationship philosophies for the longtime NBA royal couple. In multiple interviews, including a January 2011 Q&A with Forbes, Buss, 51, has said that she and Jackson — who has been married twice before and has five grown children — did not anticipate to ever get married:

You live and work with Phil but have no plans to marry. Why not?

I wanted to get married. That’s who I am. Phil is of a generation that probably would have been happier never getting married. He just doesn’t want to get married again; it’s not that he doesn’t want to marry me. It took me awhile to understand that, and I’m fine with it now. We’ve been together over 10 years. This relationship has been my longest and most successful. So I’m very happy.

We hope that Buss and Jackson will be just as happy as man and wife as they've been as, well, man and woman these past 11 or so years, and we congratulate them both on the impending nuptials. I, for one, can't wait to hear what kind of readings Phil picks out for the ceremony. I hear that's something of a specialty for him.

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