Jeanie Buss Rumors
It’s a new chapter for Ms. Buss, too. The eldest daughter and successor to one of the most famous N.B.A. owners, Dr. Jerry Buss, who died in 2013, she’s emerged as the franchise leader in her own right. “Jeanie is not just one of the best owners in the N.B.A.,” said the former Lakers player, coach and investor Magic Johnson. “She is one of the best owners in all of sports.”
Johnny, the owner of the Ice House Comedy Club, said he now isn’t speaking to his brother Jim and maintains an emotional distance from the management of the family business and from the sister in charge. “Jeanie really matured in the last two years, to a point I’m really proud of her, but it doesn’t mean I’ll talk to her much,” he said. (A lawyer for Jim Buss could not be reached for comment.) Ms. Buss makes no apologies. “My dad had his children, but the Lakers was his baby,” she said. “My father said, ‘You are ultimately in charge, you have to protect the baby.’”
His exit — “the Magic abdication,” as Mr. Jackson called it — drew all the media scrutiny of royal family drama. “I wish it had been handled less publicly,” Ms. Buss said. But she showed herself to be the club’s steady leader amid crushing pressure: the death of Mr. Bryant and a pandemic that pushed the grieving team into an isolated bubble, away from family and detached from a civil rights movement of personal relevance to many players. “I get a lump in my throat just thinking about what the players did under the most difficult circumstances,” she said.
Kyle Goon: Jeanie Buss directly to fans: We miss you so much. The team misses you. But someday soon, we’ll be together. She goes on to acknowledge JaVale McGee, Danny Green, Dwight Howard, Rajon Rondo, Avery Bradley, JR Smith, Dion Waiters, Troy Daniels and DeMarcus Cousins and thank them.
Also, the Lakers wanted to help Lue select his assistant coaches, and that frustrated him. Lue was stunned, sources said, when he met with the Lakers’ deep thinkers for the first time (prior to any contract discussions) and Kurt Rambis, a senior adviser to Pelinka and team owner Jeanie Buss, asked Lue if he would accept him — Rambis — on Lue’s bench. The Lakers, through a spokeswoman, denied Rambis asked Lue about coaching with him. “Ty felt like they were doing everything in their power to get him to not take the job,” one source said. “Offer him less years, less money, stir up the pot with some of these other things. They knew they had to interview him because LeBron wanted him, but they were hoping he would walk away.”
“Ty wanted to be respected as a championship-winning coach,” said a source close to the situation. “He was right, but you also have to respect Ty for protecting the coaches who come after him. If he just says ‘yes’ to the years and any dollar amount the Lakers say, it sets a bad precedent. “You also can understand where the Lakers were coming from at the time,” the same source said. “They wanted to protect themselves. They’d come up short, they were under a lot of pressure from fans and the media and they were fighting a perception that they didn’t want, which was that LeBron was running the show.”
“Ty and I share an agent, so I knew he was involved,” Vogel said. “And I supported that. He’s a great coach, a championship coach. When he talked to me about potentially coming onto his staff, I was honored for the opportunity to work with him. But this opportunity here with the Lakers … you just want to be a part of something like this. It’s not about anything else. When he pulled out, they moved very quickly to getting me into L.A. for an interview. And moved quickly in terms of offering me the job.”