Jerry Buss Rumors
O’Neal’s unveiling validated AEG’s clairvoyance on his accomplishments with the Lakers. But his statue also represents how he reconciled with the Lakers after he was traded to the Miami Heat following the 2004 NBA Finals loss to Detroit. “The Buss family has done a lot for me and we’ve had great times together,” O’Neal said. “We had a million great times and probably one bad time. The million great times are the times we always remember and the times that count.”
“That’s what happened with the Lakers. Dr. Buss hired West, who established a culture that brought 20 years of winning. West wasn’t afraid to bring in Phil Jackson, but then West left, Phil left, Phil came back, left again, wrote a book criticizing everyone.” In other words, the Lakers began to operate more like the Knicks. When Jerry Buss died in 2013, that left the franchise to the relatively faceless, feeble leadership of his son, Jim. Now Jeanie Buss has won, at least temporarily, an ownership power struggle with her brothers, Jim and Johnny, and she chose Magic. “To me, it’s a no-brainer that Earvin was given that position to capture the attention of the people in L.A. and to try to recapture that sense of continuity,” Riley said.
In 2006, Dr. Buss put the Lakers ownership in a trust. In plain English above his signature it says that when he dies: “the Trustees shall take whatever actions are reasonably available to them to have Jeanie M. Buss appointed as the Controlling Owner of the Los Angeles Lakers, Inc.” Jeanie, Johnny and Jim were made co-trustees and each of them signed the trust back in 2006, meaning they knew Dr. Buss had chosen Jeanie to succeed him seven years before his death. The term “controlling owner” is important. That is what the NBA refers to as the person who makes the final decision for each team.
Dr. Buss, who passed away in 2013, had six children, and they inherited a total of 66 percent of the Lakers. Sources told ESPN that Dr. Buss went to great lengths to prepay the inheritance taxes on the Lakers, so his children wouldn’t be liable upon his death. Rather than inherit a lump sum, each of the six Buss children get checks every year from their share of the team’s profits, which the L.A. Times has reported is now about $10 million each.
Baxter Holmes: Statement from ex-Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak, who was fired from his post Tuesday: “I would like to thank the Buss family for 36 incredible years. In particular, I would like to acknowledge Dr. Buss who brought me here as a player in 1981. I also want to thank every Laker player, coach and staff member with whom I have worked and who supported me through the good times and the very few not so good times. I am most disappointed that I won’t have the opportunity to continue to work with Luke [Walton] and watch this young and talented team grow and eventually win in the Laker tradition. Finally, my best wishes to Earvin Johnson and the Laker organization going forward.”