SBD/June 19, 2017/People and Pop Culture

Jeanie Buss Embraces Challenge Of Rebuilding Storied Lakers Franchise After Father's Death

Buss faces her greatest test in reviving the Lakers after a few down years
Lakers President JEANIE BUSS is not only the "most powerful woman in sports," she is also "one of the most powerful people" in the industry, according to a profile by Tania Ganguli of the L.A. TIMES. Now Buss, 55, "faces her greatest test: reviving the NBA’s glamour franchise, which has stumbled badly" since the death of her father, JERRY BUSS, in '13. Jeanie Buss "may not have the answers -- yet -- but she is unmistakably in charge." She is "shy but assumes an outgoing persona when her job calls for it." Buss "got married once, for three years, in the 1990s, and doesn’t think she’ll do it again." She "likes children and would have liked to have some but felt that would have required multitasking she didn’t feel equipped to do." Buss: “For me, the burning desire has always been about building what my family had. Making it better and keeping it healthy and strong. That’s a motivating factor for me in my life." As for her personal life, Buss said she is not "one of the Kardashians." Buss: “I’m not that interesting." Knicks President PHIL JACKSON, who was previously in a long-term relationship with Buss, said the NBA had "never been very amenable, happy about" their relationship. Jackson: “There’s this ... feeling that there could be collusion between those two franchises. So that was something that was difficult for us. It’s not that reason (why the relationship ended) -- I think distance is the biggest reason" (L.A. TIMES, 6/18).

BROTHER'S KEEPER: In a separate piece, Ganguli noted Buss' brother JOHNNY was "once an heir to his father Jerry Buss' kingdom, but insists the sports world never quite interested him." After his father's death, that interest "waned even more." Johnny Buss: "The desire to be an owner left when my dad passed away. I don't think there's any thrill in it. I think there's a lot of money in it. If you knew me you would understand I'm not about money at all." Buss, formerly Lakers Exec VP/Strategic Development, "never fully dove into his family's sports holdings, but he stuck around while his father lived." But he "insisted he never wanted to push out his sister" from the Lakers. Buss: "Not only have I resigned from (the Lakers), I've resigned from being a member of the Buss family." Buss said that he "plans to run for political office next year" (LATIMES.com, 6/18). 
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