The Los Angeles Lakers’ sibling-owner rivalry is over. Jeanie Buss has taken full control of the franchise and replaced brother Jim with sister Janie as a trustee.
Just a few weeks ago Jeanie Buss thwarted an attempted coup from brothers Johnny and Jim to take over control of the franchise by removing her from the Lakers’ board of directors. In response, she not only filed a lawsuit against her brothers but through court action, had Jim Buss removed as a trustee and replaced him with Janie Buss, an ally of hers.
May 15 was the intended court hearing date to settle Jeanie’s lawsuit, however, Jim Buss agreed to step down as a trustee so the hearing was canceled. Jim reportedly signed legal documents last week removing him as a trustee.
In Jim’s place, Janie Buss has expressed her full support for sister Jeanie.
“Jeanie is captain of the ship,” Janie Buss told ESPN. “My sister is the one who finally played her aces. I’m just behind her. I’ve always been behind her. Now she can focus on where the Lakers need to go. This is a new beginning for us as a team. Now we don’t need to worry about this family stuff. We can focus on the Lakers now.”
Much to that effect, NBA commissioner Adam Silver expressed peace of mind that the situation was resolved. “We are pleased that this matter has been resolved,” he said. “Jeanie is as knowledgeable and experienced as any owner in sports and the Lakers are in great hands.”
Now that L.A. has a clear controlling owner and governor in her rightful place, the Lakers can move
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forward and focus on turning the franchise around. In a recent podcast on Forbes Sports Money, Jeanie said that she and Magic Johnson are looking forward to building the team around Luke Walton. One of the most important things to her when bringing Johnson on was seeing eye to eye. Once Magic expressed the sentiment that he believed in Walton, she knew they could move forward. On the Forbes Sports Money podcast, Jeanie said, “Luke Walton is, he is somebody that I believe can be our coach for the next 10 or 15 years, as long as we don’t kill him.”
Obviously, L.A. needs to build through the draft and free agency. Most importantly, they need to attract a superstar in the offseason. But it seems they expect Walton to a part of the team’s long-term plans and they want to get the best players around him possible. That seems to be the starting point for the franchise moving forward and it begins as soon as this season is over.
What do you think of Jeanie Buss having full control of the Lakers? Are they now in a position to right the ship? Let us know in the comments below.