Phil Jackson and Lakers president and co-owner Jeanie Buss are no longer a couple.
Jackson, the Knicks president, announced on his Twitter page Tuesday night that the two have ended their engagement in what was a joint statement. It said that it was difficult maintaining a long distance relationship since he spends most of his time in New York and Buss in Los Angeles.
“With mutual love and respect we have decided to end our engagement,” the tweet from Jackson’s Twitter page read. “With the nature of our professional obligations and the geographic distance between us sustaining the relationship has been difficult. We have shared many wonderful moments through the years and we expect to remain supportive of each other in the future. PJ/JB”
Not long after, Buss retweeted Jackson’s tweet, and wrote, “Nothing but love and respect for this man.”
Later Buss tweeted, “The love of my life is the Los Angeles Lakers. I love Phil & will always. It’s not fair to him or Lakers to not have my undivided attention.”
The two started dating not long after Jackson became the Lakers coach in 1999. They had been together for more than a decade before they were engaged. Buss, the daughter of the late Lakers owner Jerry Buss, announced their engagement on Twitter nearly four years ago.
Jackson signed a five-year deal to become the Knicks’ president in March 2014, and has spent more and more time in New York. He has an opt-out after this season, and there has been speculation that he could return to Los Angeles. But Jackson has maintained that he would like to honor his contract.