Jeanie Buss updated her autobiography “Laker Girl” recently to talk in some detail about how the entire Lakers hiring process that teased fans with Phil Jackson and landed on Mike D’Antoni. Buss said she was “stunned” and the incident almost sapped her passion for her job — the Lakers’ owner in charge of the business side of the operation — plus left her and her brother with a rocky relationship.
However, that was almost a year ago, the two are past that now and and are working very well together. Nothing to see here, move along (at least that’s the company line).
In the wake of the Los Angeles Times excerpt from the Buss memoir over the weekend, Jim and Jeanie Buss each released statements.
Jim Buss said:
“The words and sentiments in Jeanie’s new book reflect her feelings and frustrations nearly a year ago, and how she felt at that time. I understand that Jeanie felt that way, and why she felt that way. Since that time, we have discussed the situation, the circumstances that led to it, and our feelings about it. Both of us feel this has been resolved and have put this behind us.”
Jeanie Buss said:
“Jim has been great in terms of understanding my feelings about this and in fostering an atmosphere that has led to better communication. We have regular meetings and talks and are both committed to creating the best working environment possible, as are my sister and other brothers as well. We are focused only on what is best for the franchise and in making the Lakers championship contenders.”
Reports from around the Lakers have been that the Buss family is starting to find a system of working together that works for all of them. They are communicating better and have weekly meetings that go over every aspect of the Laker business (which is the lone family business at this point).
We’ll see how that ends up manifesting itself on the court (this is clearly a transition year for the team). It’s understandable that it would take the family some time to figure out how to make their complex business relationship work for everyone.
As I’ve said before, hiring Mike D’Antoni and losing Dwight Howard will not define the legacy of Jim Buss and this family, but what they do next will. They are building the foundation of their legacy in the next few years. We’ll see how that turns out, but at least the family is talking.