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Volume 24 No. 156

People and Pop Culture

Lakers Exec VP/Player Personnel JIM BUSS is profiled by Ramona Shelburne of ESPN L.A., who wrote under the header, "The Time Has Come For Jim Buss." Buss said of his late father, JERRY BUSS, "If he didn't think I was capable of doing this, I guarantee he wouldn't have put me here. He would have arranged something else. ... My dad trusted me. I know for a fact that if he didn't believe in what I was doing, he would not have just said, 'Well you're my son. Here you go.' No. That's not how I got this job." He added, "We lost a great person, a great Laker fan, and by far and away, to me, the best owner in sports. But the stability and the passion with which we do our work is still there 100 percent." Shelburne wrote now with the passing of Jerry Buss, Jim will "need to adapt," as "all the consequences and responsibilities are his." Jim Buss: "I'm looked upon as that decision-maker even though it's a team effort. I think people want to have that. They want the new decision-making process to be out in the forefront as opposed to keeping the legacy of Dr. Buss in the forefront. It's hard to say that, because I'm still not 100 percent sure that's true. But I get a sense from people that, 'We don't want to hear about you feeling bad (Dr. Buss) is gone and that you miss your connection with him. We need you to lead.' I understand that." 

YOUR MOMENT OF ZEN: Shelburne wrote Lakers Exec VP/Business Operations JEANIE BUSS was "understandably devastated and hurt" when the Lakers hired coach MIKE D'ANTONI last year instead of her fiancé, PHIL JACKSON. Jim Buss said, "I felt compassionate. I wish I could do something about that, but on a business level, this was a business decision made by our father." He added, "I consider Phil family. That's how I look at him. If he wants to work with me on a consultant basis, I'm all for it. ... Yes, it feels like a soap opera. I'm learning to accept it. Jeanie's been a lot more in the public eye than I have been" (, 9/11).

CHANNEL GUIDE: Jackson and Jeanie Buss are slated to be part of a scripted drama on Showtime about a pro basketball team, and CBSSN’s Doug Gottlieb said, “This isn’t going to be a real story, this is not going to be a behind the scenes look at the Lakers. It’s going to be scripted." He asked, "Are they going to go to the level that ‘Playmakers’ went there for ESPN?” Gottlieb later added, “The Lakers have this partnership with Time Warner Cable, they have their own channel, yet this is going to appear on Showtime. Win for Showtime, no question” (“Lead Off,” CBSSN, 9/11).

New Media Sports LLC, run by White Sox Vice Chair EDDIE EINHORN, has named ALAN LUBELL President & CEO. The ascension of Lubell, a longtime business partner of Einhorn's and veteran sports industry exec, is part of a long-planned transition. New Media Sports presents the National Youth Baseball Championships, a youth baseball event that uses more adult-style playing rules than Little League (Eric Fisher, Staff Writer).

BOARD ROOM: ESPN Exec Chair GEORGE BODENHEIMER and Microsoft exec ANTHONY BATES are "joining the board of directors" of SiriusXM. They represent "the latest high-profile additions" to the board (REUTERS, 9/12).

EXECS: Twitter named NFL Media VP/Media Sales DAVE PATTILLO Head of East Coast Sales, according to sources. Pattillo, who starts in October, had been with the NFL for 10 years, "helping to get the NFL Network off the ground" (N.Y. POST, 9/12)....The Blackhawks yesterday extended VP & GM STAN BOWMAN's contract for two more years, which takes him through the '18-19 season (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 9/12)....Univ. of Maine AD STEVE ABBOTT stepped down on Tuesday to "rejoin the staff" of U.S. Sen. SUSAN COLLINS (R-Maine). He will "sever ties" with the school by mid-November. UM Senior Dir of PR & Operations MARGARET NAGLE said that Abbott's departure will "lead to the naming of an interim AD" (, 9/10)....The NBA D-League L.A. D-Fenders named Lakers PR Coordinator NICK MAZZELLA GM and promoted GM GLENN CARRARO to VP/Basketball Operations (L.A. TIMES, 9/12)....Georgia-based Mather Economics named ESPN Insider Dir KENT SCHACHT Digital Services Dir. Schacht previously "ran ESPN's digital subscription business and headed up all direct-to-consumer digital content monetization with P&L and operations oversight." The company also named K.C. Star VP/Audience & Marketing CHRIS CHRISTIAN VP. He will still be based in K.C. (Mather)....Canterbury Park named ERIC HALSTROM VP/Operations. Halstrom, who starts Oct. 21, previously worked at the Minnesota racetrack from '97-08 (, 9/9)....WWE announcer JIM ROSS has retired "after 20 years with the company" (QMI AGENCY, 9/11).

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The Red Sox will unveil a statue of Baseball HOFer CARL YASTRZEMSKI on Sept. 22, prior to the team's final regular season home game. It will be the third statue outside of Fenway Park, and "will be located between the statue of TED WILLIAMS and 'The Teammates' statue near the Gate B entrance." Yastrzemski will throw out the first pitch before the game. The statue was created by noted sculptor TOBY MENDEZ (BOSTON GLOBE, 9/12).

NAMES: CFL free agent and former NFLer DAVID PITTMAN "sued the NFL" and Riddell yesterday in New Orleans, alleging "repeated head trauma while playing" in the league. Pittman is “one of two plaintiffs in the case,” joining former NFLer CONRAD CLARKS (Baton Rouge ADVOCATE, 9/12)....Actor VIVEK SHAH is going to prison for seven years after "attempts to extort” $34M from Sabres Owner TERRY PEGULA (, 9/11)....Former NBA Kings co-Owner GAVIN MALOOF in August sold his five-bedroom, five-bathroom, 5,203-square-foot house in north Natomas, Calif. for $1.1M (, 9/11)....Northwestern Univ. men's basketball coach CHRIS COLLINS paid $2.55M for a "newly built seven-bedroom house" in Winnetka, Ill., that had been listed for $2.78M (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 9/12)....A Miami-Dade judge ruled this week that Stewart-Haas Racing co-Owner GENE HAAS "reneged on his high-stakes winning bid for two Golden Beach homes" in '11 and "must fork over his deposit plus interest." Haas "sent a proxy to the auction, which took place in the living room of one of the two palaces up for bid" (MIAMI HERALD, 9/12).