Who Are Phil Jackson's Ex-Wives? Everything To Know About June And Maxine Jackson

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Who Are Phil Jackson's Ex-Wives? Everything To Know About June And Maxine Jackson
Entertainment And News

On April 19, ESPN is releasing their documentary, The Last Dance, about Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls' 1997-1998 championship season. The series includes 10 parts, and should also give us an intimate look at the man who was coaching the team at the time: Phil Jackson. 

Jackson himself has had a pretty impressive career, from playing for the NBA himself to coaching teams like the Bulls and the Los Angeles Lakers. But what about his personal life? 

As it turns out, he has a pretty interesting one — including when it comes to his love life.

So who are Phil Jackson's ex-wives, June and Maxine Jackson?

Here's what you need to know ahead of The Last Dance's release.

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Jackson married his first wife, Maxine, in 1967. 

Unfortunately, their marriage didn't last very long. After they tied the knot in 1967, they split up in 1972, while Jackson was still playing basketball. At the time, he was on the New York Knicks, still at the very beginning of his career. It seems Maxine disappeared out of the limelight after she and Jackson went their separate ways; there haven't been any updates about what she's doing today. 

He was also married to his second wife, June, for over 20 years.

Two years after his divorce from Maxine, Jackson married his second wife, June, in 1974. They would stay together until 2000 — through Jackson's career with the Knicks and the New Jersey Nets, all the way up to when he retired from playing in 1980. The fact that June wanted to be a priority in Jackson's life may have been what led to their divorce, as he wrote in his bookMore Than a Game.

"June felt that I was unable to commit to my relationship or my family because my career was too important to me. She saw me mired in my fame and my day-to-day habits, a prisoner of my own past," Jackson wrote. "I carry this desire of my team or my group to be the best with me 4 hours a day." 

Jackson has five children from both marriages.

Maxine and Jackson had one child together, a daughter named Elizabeth. When he was married to June, they had four more children: Chelsea, Charlie, Brooke, and Ben. Today, Jackson also has eight grandchildren between them so overall, he managed to create a pretty big family for himself, despite his dedication to his career.

He was also engaged to Jeanie Buss.

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Jackson had one other long running, notable relationship in his life: the one he shared with Jeanie Buss, the president of the Los Angeles Lakers. After dating and getting engaged over the course of a relationship that spanned 17 years, in 2016, they decided to end things.

“With mutual love and respect, we have decided to end our engagement,” a statement Jackson shared on Twitter 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 in the future."

Buss has blamed her brother for their split. 

Talking to ESPNw in 2017, Buss said that the fact that her brother, Jim, not hiring Jackson to work with the Lakers again contributed to the downfall of their relationship.

"One way or the other, it was going to cost us our relationship," Buss said at the time. "If he would have stayed home and had nothing to do, he would have driven me crazy."

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Today, Jackson is seemingly living a low-key life.

Being that Jackson hasn't used Twitter since 2018 and doesn't seem to be working in the world of athletics anymore, finding out what he's up to these days is hard. But as one of his former Chicago Bulls players, Ron Harper, said in 2019, he's living a more relaxed life in Montana these days, and even tends to a garden in his free time. 

“I talked to Phil the last couple weeks, a couple times. He’s really enjoying Montana right now,” Harper said. “He was in Los Angeles for a little bit, then went back home to Montana. I talked to him right before the NBA Draft. He told me he’s watching his green grass grow. He’s gardening now. I said, ‘You’re gardening?’ He said, ‘Yes, I’ve got my own garden now.’”

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Nicole Pomarico is an entertainment and lifestyle writer whose work has appeared in Cosmo, Us Weekly, Refinery29, and more.

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