Knicks' Jackson, Lakers' Buss call off engagement

NBA power couple had been together for 17 years

New York Knicks president Phil Jackson and Los Angeles Lakers executive Jeanie Buss have ended their engagement and long-distance relationship.

The NBA power couple had been together for 17 years but announced the separation together in a statement posted to Jackson's Twitter account on Tuesday night.

"With mutual love and respect, we have decided to end our engagement," the statement said. "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."

Buss, the Lakers' president and co-owner and the daughter of late owner Jerry Buss, later tweeted: "Nothing but love and respect for this man. @PhilJackson11.

"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."

Jackson, 71, and the 55-year-old Buss dated since 1999 and became engaged over the 2012 Christmas holiday.

They became a couple when Jackson was hired to coach the Lakers in 1999. She continued to run the Lakers and work with her brother, Jim Buss, even after Jackson joined the Knicks as team president in 2014. Jackson has two years remaining on his five-year contract with the Knicks.

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