Jeanie Buss to control Lakers for life
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A battle over control of the Los Angeles Lakers is over after an agreement was reached to have Jeanie Buss serve as controlling owner of the storied NBA franchise for the rest of her life.
The agreement was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on Monday and states that Jim and Johnny Buss have agreed that their sister will serve as the controlling owner. The filing ends weeks of uncertainty about control of the Lakers as the franchise tries to put several losing seasons behind it.
Earlier this month, Jeanie Buss went to court seeking an order to control the team after her brothers called for a board meeting that she interpreted as a challenge to her power. That filing came days after she removed Jim Buss as the Lakers’ executive vice president of basketball operations.
She replaced her brother with Magic Johnson and also fired longtime general manager Mitch Kupchak, whom Johnson replaced with sports agent Rob Pelinka.
A person familiar with the agreement who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to comment publicly said Jim Buss has been replaced as a trustee of the Lakers by his younger sister, Janie. A document filed Monday names Janie Buss as a successor trustee and states she agrees with her older sister serving as the team’s controlling owner.
Attorney Robert Sacks, who represents Jim and Johnny Buss, did not return a phone message Monday. Sacks had previously said the brothers have no interest in wresting control from their sister and that the entire court fight is unnecessary.
The Lakers also had no immediate comment on the development, which was first reported by the Los Angeles Times.
“It’s hard to imagine a better outcome. Jeanie will run the team, just as Dr. Buss (late owner Jerry Buss) always intended,” her attorney, Adam Streisand, wrote in an email.” And Laker fans can get back to hoping for championships instead of favorable court rulings.”
As a player, Johnson led the Lakers to five NBA championships. The team has been in rebuilding mode for several years, deploying a lineup of young players including guard DeAngelo Russell, rookie forward Brandon Ingram and forward Julius Randle. Luke Walton took over this season as head coach, but the team has so far won only 21 games.