Jeanie Buss Rumors
MT: Finally, I want to ask you, Jeanie Buss has been involved with the (Lakers and the) NBA for so long and now making the big decisions for the Lakers. What’s that relationship been like between you and her, and Jeanie and the league? Silver: One, it goes back since the day I started in the league. I’ve had a wonderful relationship with her whole family. Her dad was a mentor to me – I learned so much about the business, basketball and the game from Dr. Jerry Buss. And now Jeanie has stepped right into his shoes. She’s very active in league matters; she’s not very public about it, but for example, she was on our labor relations committee last time and is on the committee again. She speaks up in a lot of board meetings, and she gets a lot of respect in the room, especially from this next generation of owners, many of whom are older than she is, but know that she’s been around the league her entire life.
Q: Looking forward then, there’s so much talk about the timeline of your tenure. But beyond the question of that timeline itself, I’d always wondered if – when it comes to working with your sibling – are those tough conversations to have? (Jim’s sister, Jeanie, has the final say in the organization as Lakers president and governor) Jimm Buss: “Tough conversations? (Jeanie) just listened (laughs). It wasn’t a conversation. It was like Jeanie, ‘You know what, this is my plan. This is what I’m going to do.’ I just put it out there. She didn’t put it out there (publicly). She didn’t put any demands on me. I think it has worked when I put myself on the line. I think people respected that. I think your Laker fans who are worried, I think they got a lot of relief from the fact that I said, ‘Here, don’t worry, this is what we’re going to do, and if I don’t do it, you’ve got somebody else, don’t worry about it.’ I can’t fire myself. I own the team. So really, nothing would change except for I wouldn’t have those (basketball decision-making duties). I would take myself out of the decision (making process). And Jeanie was like, ‘If that’s what you want to do, that’s fine.’”
“The reports that I’m getting are so positive that he’s going to make it through what was a really difficult time,” said Buss about Odom on her recent appearance on the Open Run podcast (24-minute mark). “We’re, and when I say we’re, its the Laker organization, my family, we’re devoted to helping him and however we can as he comes through this, because he is a former Laker, he is a champion with the Lakers and we all love him. To see everybody rally around him was very touching. A lot of people love him and are pulling for him.”
Jim scoffs at the notion that there is tension between him and Jeanie – book excerpts be darned, apparently. There was a resettling of family dynamics that had to happen when their father passed, but they have both said in recent months that the roles – Jim on the basketball side, Jeanie on the business side but also having the final say – have long since been clear in the kind of way that Bryant once begged for. So long as everyone looks forward rather than reliving the painful past, it seems, all will be well on this front.