Jeanie Buss Rumors
But Hammon displayed many of the traits that a successful coach needs. “I think she has the ability to be a head coach in the NBA but there are only 30 such jobs and it is extremely competitive to get one no matter if you are male or female,” said Lakers Executive Vice President Jeanie Buss, one of the highest-ranking female executives in sports, via text Sunday. “If that is her desire I encourage her to follow that path,” Buss said. “Being a woman is not a reason to stop. Continue doing outstanding work and the opportunity will come.”
Asked about that deadline in a radio appearance with KPCC on Thursday, Jeanie Buss reiterated that timeline is still in place and that if the Lakers don’t reach their goals by then, she’s ready for change. “Yeah, absolutely,” Buss said. “This is my job. I’m part-owner of the team, but I’m also the president. The Buss family is the majority owner but we have other partners as well who are also shareholders, and I have an obligation to them. Would I make those changes? Yes. My brother understands that we have to continue to strive for greatness, and I think he would be the first one to feel that he would need to step down if he can’t get us to that point.”
The NBA informed the Lakers that the tweets were in violation of the July moratorium, the period between when teams begin negotiating with free agents and they can begin signing them. During that time, only the team’s “designated negotiator” — in the Lakers case, Kupchak — is permitted to say whether the Lakers are in discussions with a player. A tweet from team president Jeanie Buss encouraging fans to reweet the “#LAtoLA” hashtag was also removed.
“I don’t think that I’m being stubborn when I say I expect the best for the Lakers,” Buss told USA TODAY Sports. “That was a bar that my Dad set, and certainly there was always a feeling around the house that the Lakers don’t miss the playoffs. And the idea that we missed the playoffs two years in a row was different territory, and it was not comfortable for me. I couldn’t get a feel for where we were going. We were turning coaches over – a new coach every 18 months. That doesn’t make you feel comfortable in terms of a direction if the direction keeps changing all the time. And that’s the kind of stuff where I didn’t see how that was going to help us get back to the bar that my Dad set. And so I think now, it seems that there might have been…” She pauses. “It’s not a purging, but a reset of a different generation,” she continued. “And now the table has cleared, and you’re going to start to see exactly what the future of Lakers basketball is going to be, because our front office – (her brother and vice president of basketball operations) Jim Buss, (general manager) Mitch Kupchak – has all the things that they need to put their vision out on the floor.”
The Lakers’ rebuilding process may appear uncertain. But clarity emerged on another front. The Lakers and KSPN-710AM reached an agreement that will extend their radio play-by-play partnership for two additional seasons up through 2021-22. John Ireland will continue as the Lakers’ radio play-by-play announced, while Mychal Thompson will remain as the color analyst. Lakers president and part owner Jeanie Buss made the announcement on Tuesday as a guest on KSPN-710AM. “ESPN and the ESPN brand are synonymous with excellence, and we’re proud to be affiliated with them,” Lakers Senior Vice President of Business Operations/COO Tim Harris said in a statement. “The management and employees are consummate professionals and people we enjoy working with, and we’re very pleased to extend our partnership with them.”