Although Jim and Jeanie Buss say the family is committed to keeping the team, it only requires a “yes” vote by four Buss siblings to force the sale of the Lakers. Philip Anschutz, whose company owns Staples Center and the NHL Kings, and who personally owns 27% of the Lakers, holds the “first look” if the Buss family decides to sell its two-thirds ownership stake. It’s not as strong as a right of first refusal, but it allows Anschutz a chance to buy the team. But if Anschutz passed because the Busses asked for too much, the Chicago investment group Guggenheim Partners, owner of the Dodgers, would eagerly jump into the bidding. The Guggenheim group envisions employing former Lakers star Magic Johnson as the ceremonial face of the franchise, a role he currently holds with the Dodgers.
Philip Anschutz Rumors
It’s believed that Gores, worth $2.4 billion and ranked 153rd among the richest Americans, according to Forbes, wants to put a management structure together that is similar to that of AEG, the facilities and entertainment conglomerate headed by Philip Anschutz, the Lakers’ part-owner. Anschutz almost never gives interviews and the publicity-shy Gores is equally reticent to speak with the media. AEG president Tim Leiweke does almost all of the public speaking for the organization, which built Staples Center and L.A. Live in Los Angeles, transforming the city’s downtown.