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Legal expert says trust leaves Jeanie Buss in strong position to remain Lakers’ controlling owner

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Last month, Johnny Buss — the eldest of the Buss children who co-own the Lakers — tried to call a Board of Directors meeting for the team to elect a new board of directors. This came just days after Lakers’ controlling owner Jeanie Buss had removed brother Jim Buss from power in the Lakers’ basketball operations side and replaced him (and GM Mitch Kupchak) with Magic Johnson. Johnny proposed four directors to lead the franchise: Himself, Jim, and two minority owners from outside the family. Jeanie was not on the page.

Jeanie challenged that in court and Johnny withdrew his request.

The Los Angeles Times got a hold of the entire, complex trust that guides control of the Lakers and had it reviewed by legal experts. The finding is that the trust leaves Jeanie in a very strong position to remain controlling owner and governor of the team by design — the trust says that the other trustees will take whatever steps necessary to elect and keep Jeanie as the controlling owner.

“The language is pretty clear that Jim and Johnny have an ongoing duty to maintain Jeanie as the new controlling owner,” said Patrick Goodman, a probate law expert who teaches at UCLA. “Dr. Buss left practically no wiggle room to argue otherwise….

The experts don’t see a clear path for the brothers to successfully challenge their sister in court. Michael McCann, a sports law professor at the University of New Hampshire, called a scenario in which the brothers would convince other board members to remove her a “hypothetical that doesn’t seem grounded in reality” and called dissolving the trust “extremely unlikely.”

The question for the Lakers and the Buss family becomes, “what’s next?”

A person with direct knowledge of the situation who spoke on the condition they not be identified said the tension between the siblings has been building since last fall. The person said scenarios including buying out the brothers’ stakes in the team or borrowing money on their behalf were discussed before the matter became public.

“She’s got by far the strongest side of the argument,” the person said. “She needs to press her advantage, clarify this and get it out of the way.”

That buyout price is likely far too steep for Jeanie or the other Buss children on their own. Forbes just estimated the Lakers’ worth at $3 billion, and while there are reasons to think that number flawed if the Clippers sold for $2 billion to Steve Ballmer, it’s not unreasonable. Which means Jim and Johnny’s shares are worth $330 million each. That is, if the two are willing to sell for that price, it could be higher.

There are six Buss children, each who own 11 percent of the team. However, Jeanie, Jim, and Johnny are the directors with the power to elect three-fifths of the Board of Directors.

None of the Buss family would comment for the story, unsurprisingly.

In the end, this seems like something that will smolder for a while unless Jeanie can find a solution that satisfies the two brothers — and that will be both difficult and expensive.

Here are the 10 best crossovers from this past NBA season

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NBA offenses in 2017 may be highly advanced, but there is always room for a good old crossover.

That’s why we are bringing you 10 of the best crossovers from this past season. Some of the usual suspects — like Stephen Curry and Russell Westbrook — bless the list.

Take a look at all of the highlight plays above and let us know what you think.

Meanwhile, I expect we will see more players doing be Shammgod next season.

Watch the 10 best dunks from the 2016-17 NBA season

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The 2016 NBA season will be known for the MVP battle between Russell Westbrook and James Harden. Or will it?

It could also be remembered for the Golden State Warriors seeking and achieving their redemption over the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2017 NBA Finals.

No matter what, there are always great dunks to be seen in the NBA on a nightly basis.

Take a look in the video above. Do you agree with No. 1?

Report: LeBron James ‘hustling’, suggested Josh Jackson for Kyrie Irving

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Is LeBron James staying with the Cleveland Cavaliers? Who knows?

But The King is reportedly working to try to find trade deals for disgruntled point guard Kyrie Irving.

According to ESPN’s Pablo Torre, James has begun hustling for the Cavaliers this offseason, suggesting a trade of Irving for Phoenix Suns rookie Josh Jackson.

Here is what Torre had to say, via Fear the Sword:

“LeBron James is doing some LeBron James offseason work. And my understanding is it’s not just Derrick Rose, it’s not just Eric Bledsoe. LeBron James happens to know a guy named James Jones . . . LeBron James is hustling behind the scenes, is my understanding, asking ‘Is Josh Jackson available for Kyrie Irving?’ And the answer back that I heard is ‘no, he is not.’ But LeBron James is hustling on behalf of the Cleveland Cavaliers, at least for this one year.”

Then again, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst has sources that are saying LeBron has not been active:

Irving has a preferred landing destination in New York, but there is apparently not mutual interest between the Cavaliers and Knicks. While before it was rumored that Carmelo Anthony would like to in Cleveland with LeBron, but that trade has yet to happen despite the obvious answer to the question of what to do with each player.

Rumor has it that Anthony only wants to play in Houston, and sort of puts the brakes on getting Irving to New York.

Cleveland seems to have lost a bit of leverage with Irving’s open trade request, so it will be interesting to see what the return for Cleveland is once a trade is finally made and we can compare it to the deals for Chris Paul and Paul George.

Irving reportedly isn’t talking to the Cavaliers at the moment so one would have to assume a deal will be coming within the next few weeks.

Report: Warriors re-signing JaVale McGee to one-year contract

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The Warriors helped rehabilitate JaVale McGee‘s career to the point he wanted more – more money, a starting spot.

But old reputations die hard, and it’s a tough market for free-agent centers.

So, McGee is returning to Golden State.

ESPN:

The Golden State Warriors are re-signing center JaVale McGee to a one-year contract, source told ESPN’s Chris Haynes.

McGee could receive between the minimum ($2,116,955) and Non-Bird Exception ($2,540,346). He’ll cost Golden State between $5,968,023 and $10,511,120.* Here’s guessing he gets the minimum.

*Factoring in the NBA’s reimbursement for one-year minimum contracts and the luxury tax, also assuming the Warriors keep the same roster when the tax is assessed at the end of the regular season

Golden State played to McGee’s strengths by simplifying the game for him. He chased lobs, blocks and rebounds and was asked to do little else. He still made the occasional gaffe, and questions about his basketball intelligence remain, but McGee progressed in his never-ending battle to stifle the laughter.

Not every team could protect McGee like that, so he’s more valuable to the Warriors than others. He’ll take another crack at free agency next summer, but at 30, he might not find eager suitors then, either.

In Golden State, he’ll again join a center rotation that includes Zaza Pachulia and David West and maybe Damian Jones and Jordan Bell. With stars at every other position, the Warriors have taken an equalitarian approach at center.

McGee gives the Warriors 15 players clearly on standard contracts, the regular-season limit. Chris Boucher is on a two-way contract, and Antonius Cleveland might be, too. Even if he’s on a standard contract, Cleveland is unlikely to stick past the preseason. It seems we know the roster Golden State will take into the regular season.

Then again, McGee surprisingly made the regular-season roster on an unguaranteed deal last year. Maybe he’ll have to fend off challengers this year.