FAQ: What’s happening with the Lakers and the Buss family?
These are turbulent times for the Los Angeles Lakers — both on the floor, where they’re suffering through a fourth consecutive dismal season, and in the boardroom, where there is now a fight for ownership control within the Buss family.
Here is an FAQ to help understand and put into simple terms what is happening to the franchise that Forbes valued at $3 billion just last month.
Q: The headlines say Jeanie Buss thwarted a takeover attempt by her brothers. What happened?
A: Jim Buss and Johnny Buss, Dr. Jerry Buss’ two oldest sons, appear to have tried to use a loophole to remove their sister Jeanie from the Lakers board of directors and then as the Lakers’ controlling owner. It seems they wanted to hastily arrange an election of a new board of directors next week and leave Jeanie off of it. Under the Lakers bylaws, if she isn’t a director, she can’t be the controlling owner — aka the boss. When Jeanie found out about the gambit, she had her lawyers get involved. When they couldn’t get clear answers via email or over the phone from either her brothers or their lawyers about their intentions for this board meeting, she went to court to stop it from taking place. After this happened, the brothers canceled the meeting and their lawyers told media outlets they had no nefarious plans. Essentially, it appears they were caught, and they retreated — for now.
Q: Why is Jeanie the boss?
A: In 2006, Dr. Buss put the Lakers ownership in a trust. In plain English above his signature it says that when he dies: “the Trustees shall take whatever actions are reasonably available to them to have Jeanie M. Buss appointed as the Controlling Owner of the Los Angeles Lakers, Inc.” Jeanie, Johnny and Jim were…