Knicks' Phil Jackson, Lakers' Jeannie Buss mutually end four-year long engagement
Phil Jackson and Jeannie Buss got engaged in 2012, three years after they began dating in 1999. AP

PHIL Jackson and Jeanie Buss have ended their four-year engagement, as the couple announced in a joint statement on Tuesday (Wednesday, Manila time).  

Jackson, the president of the New York Knicks, made the announcement on his Twitter account, citing their distance and careers have contributed to their mutual decision.

“With mutual love and respect, we have decided to end our engagement. 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,” Jackson wrote.

“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,” Buss, the Lakers president and co-owner, also tweeted afterwards

The 71-year old Jackson and the 55-year old Buss began dating in 1999 when the ‘Zen Master’ was named to coach the Lakers. The two announced their engagement in 2012.

But in a recent interview with ESPN senior writer Jackie MacMullan, Jackson began describing the long-distance relationship as “very hard.”

In the same interview, Jackson denied rumors that he was opting out of his Knicks commitment and take a position with the Lakers in Los Angeles to become closer to Buss. He is currently in the second year of a five-year contract with New York. 

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