Los Angeles Lakers controlling owner Jeanie Buss sent a public service announcement to any parties attempting to mess with her standing as the franchise’s decision-maker.
That message was sent in the form of dismissing her brother, Jim Buss, as a team trustee on Monday. Jeanie asked her brother to resign from his trustee position, according to The Los Angeles Times, before her attorneys took the matter to trial. Her sister, Janie Buss, replaces Jim as a trustee alongside herself and Johnny Buss.
“The message is clear here: Do not underestimate Jeanie Buss,” her attorney, Adam Streisand, said via The Los Angeles Times. “There is not going to be a palace coup. Not now. Not ever.”
Jim and Johnny Buss also agreed for Jeanie to serve as controlling owner and on the team’s board of directors for as long as the family owns the Lakers.
Jeanie had already fired her brother as vice president of basketball operations after he failed on his promise to contend for championships by this summer. The Lakers have finished as the conference’s worst or second-worst team in the three seasons before this one. They were 19-39 when he was fired, though they have only gone 2-13 since.
Jim Buss shouldn’t have tried to mess with Jeanie
A month ago, Jim and Johnny Buss tried to overthrow Jeanie Buss as Lakers’ controlling owner. She had hired Magic Johnson as a team consultant (and eventually president of basketball operations), and the new addition had a lengthy history at odds with her brother.
The Buss brothers had planned a secret meeting to elect a new board of directors for the team and were not going to loop Jeanie in on the meeting. They believed their covert operation could have put a new board in place and revoked Jeanie’s standing as a director.
But she somehow caught wind of the meeting, and her attorneys filed for a temporary restraining order. They then correctly argued that Jeanie must also be on the board of directors because the terms of the trust dictate she be the controlling owner.
Now, with Johnson and Jeanie Buss working unimpeded side by side, the storied franchise can focus solely on returning to prominence.