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With the New York Knicks hiring Phil Jackson as team president, a lot of questions were raised. Who will the Knicks target? Will Phil let Carmelo walk? Will he ultimately install himself as head coach? And, with Phil Jackson's girlfriend Jeanie Buss serving as executive vice president of business operations for the Los Angeles Lakers, does their relationship pose a conflict of interest?
The last question also piqued the interest of the NBA. According to an ESPN report first filed by Darren Rovell and Ramona Shelburne, the league is looking into the issue. While the report indicated no specific direction, action or parameters as to how to monitor or avoid any conflict, there seems to be consistent measure of protection from many parties involved. Jeanie Buss had dinner with new NBA commissioner Adam Silver this week, and indicated that the topic did come up. She noted that there should be no problems, given her lack of involvement in basketball decisions. Current Laker Pau Gasol, who previously played for Jackson, told reporters that he cannot speak with his old coach given his pending free agency and any perception of tampering between the parties.
NBA spokeman Mike Bass told ESPN.com:
The Knicks’ hiring of Phil Jackson is subject to the league’s conflict of interest rules. To avoid even the appearance of a conflict, we have addressed the issue with the Knicks and Lakers to ensure that the relationship between Jeanie Buss and Phil Jackson will not affect how the teams operate.”
Phil Jackson and Jeanie Buss have been dating since 1999. After years of Jeanie's outward expression to lock it up officially, Phil finally proposed for Christmas, 2012. Jeanie Buss was happy to share the news with the world going on Twitter to announce: "Twitter family - Phil finally gave me that ring I wanted! :-)" The couple has no one, but a dog. Phil Jackson has five children and seven grandchildren.
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Andrea Bargnani's Girlfriend Nabila Chihab is a professional volleyball player of Moroccan-Italian descent who is over 6 feet tall. Born in September, 1984 in Casablanca, Morocco, Nabila now plays center and wears #14 for RDM Pomezia Roma. Andrea and Nabila began dating in late 2011 or early 2012 and, as best we can tell from all of the Italian language sites that we visited when researching this post, the pair still live together.
Being a basketball player that was always too short all of my life, I can't help but wish that these two were my parents. Athleticism and height from both your mother and your father? Not to mention the fact that Andrea Bargnani and his girlfriend Nabila Chihab are both fairly attractive people. It will be the gene jackpot for some kid if these two ever marry and decide to procreate.
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UPDATE 03/04/2014: Raymond Felton's wife Ariane Raymondo-Felton is resourceful.
As a second year law student at Fordham University, she's getting her beak wet in creative solutions around legal matters. The soon to be former Mrs. Felton has requested that their pre-nup be thrown out on grounds that Felton cheated on her. Despite the marriage only lasting 19 months, she wants full divorce assets, and is seeking that the Knicks point guard continue to pay for the final two years of law school.
There's sure to be more developments in this already messy divorce proceedings. We'll keep an eye out.
UPDATE 02/25/2014: Well, where to begin here.
Raymond Felton's wife Ariane Raymondo-Felton, is very much working to no longer become his wife. After only 19 months of marriage, Ariane filed for divorce in early February, 2014. With a high profile divorce case and a lot of money on the line, Ariane took the next step in the often times nasty divorce proceedings - by doing what she had to do to make her husband look worse.
On Monday evening, shortly before tipoff, the divorce attorney for Ariane brought a loaded pistol to an Upper West Side police precinct, stating that Ariane did not want the gun in her home. Raymond Felton turned himself into police shortly before 1am Tuesday on the heels of a Knicks loss to the Dallas Mavericks. Felton was charged with three counts of weapon possession. 1010 WINS has confirmed that one weapon had 17 armor piercing rounds in a magazine, with one more in the chamber. If convicted of all charges, a maximum sentence would carry up to 23 years in prison.
The charges are similar to the ones brought upon Plaxico Burress in 2008. The gun has not been used in the act of a crime, but possession alone in New York City carries serious charges. Raymond Felton was released on $25,000 bail, as well as a temporary order of protection against Ariane. He is due to appear in court again June 2.
It's taken a while for Raymond Felton to get the recognition he's earned through his 8+ years in the Association. After being drafted 5th overall in 2005, Felton has bounced around the league playing for the Nuggets, Bobcats, Trail Blazers, and now on his second stint with the Knicks. After Felton has finally started getting some dap for running point for the 2nd seeded Knicks, I was stunned to look back at his career numbers. Felton has averaged more than 6.5 assists in 6 of his 8 pro seasons and accumulated a career scoring average of 13.5 points per game. While not All Star numbers, there's probably 25 other teams in the league who would take a solid vet to guarantee them numbers like that on a nightly basis.
With Felton not previously jumping off the page to anyone (including PlayerWives.com), we were remiss in not looking into his relationship status. After some looking (OK, we Googled it), we found Raymond Felton's wife Ariane Raymondo-Felton. While not a whole lot is known about Ariane, we have learned that she is a Cornell graduate from the class of 2009, who was born in 1987. Ariane was Ray Felton's girlfriend for a number of years before the couple tied the knot on July 28, 2012 in Wake Forest, NC in a lavish ceremony in front of friends and family.