Phil Jackson is still a part of the Lakers, through history and engagement, but the franchise is carrying on despite his Hall-of-Fame shadow.
Jackson sat with his fiancée, Lakers executive and part-owner Jeanie Buss, on Wednesday night at an event hosted by Time Warner Cable Media honoring the late Jerry Buss.
As Jeanie graciously answered questions about the team's first year with Time Warner Cable SportsNet, Jackson sat quietly.
"[Time Warner] exceeded even beyond our wildest expectations; the amount of time and coverage that the team received was really what our fan base had been asking for," said Buss. "I was very, very pleased."
The Lakers had a tough season, ending in a four-game sweep by the San Antonio Spurs as the crowd in the Staples Center rafters chanted a familiar mantra: "We want Phil! We want Phil!"
Instead, the Lakers have Coach Mike D'Antoni, who, according to General Manager Mitch Kupchak, will return next year with the full support of the front office.