Posts Tagged ‘Jeanie Buss’

LeBron James reaffirmed his commitment to the Los Angeles Lakers this summer, inking a two-year, $97.1-million contract extension instead of testing free agency next year.

If Lakers owner Jeanie Buss has her way, the four-time Finals MVP will remain in Hollywood for the remainder of his playing days.

“With LeBron, we have a line of communication between the two of us, and he knows that he can reach me any time and vice-versa,” Buss told Sports Illustrated’s Howard Beck on a recent episode of “The Crossover” podcast. “And I think he feels appreciated. I know I appreciated that he signed an extension to stay here and continue to lead the Laker team.

“He’s a fantastic leader both on and off the court, and I feel like we’re blessed to have him as a Laker. I want to see him retire as a Laker.”

James’ new deal includes a $50.7-million player option for the 2024-25 campaign. The Akron, Ohio, native hasn’t been shy about potentially playing alongside his son Bronny, who is a four-star recruit in the class of 2023 and is draft-eligible the following year.

James joined the Lakers in free agency four years ago. The former No. 1 overall pick has continued to play at an elite level since moving to the West Coast, averaging 27 points, 8.2 assists, 8.0 boards, and 1.2 steals during his tenure in Los Angeles. He registered a league-leading 10.2 dimes per contest in 2019-20 and led the Lakers to their 17th NBA title that same season.

James will likely surpass franchise icon Kareem Abdul-Jabbar this upcoming campaign as the Association’s all-time leading scorer, and Buss takes a lot of pride knowing that he’ll do so donning the purple and gold.

“(LeBron) will probably become the all-time leading scorer in the history of the NBA, which would break Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s record. … I’ll never forget when he did that, and Chick Hearn said, ‘This is a record that will never be broken,’ and here we are,” Buss said. “Somebody who is going to break it in a Laker uniform. And that has a lot of meaning to the organization and to me personally.”

The Los Angeles Lakers‘ 2020 championship put the franchise in a tie with the Boston Celtics for the most titles in NBA history, but controlling owner Jeanie Buss isn’t satisfied yet.

Buss told Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes that in carrying on the legacy of her late father, Dr. Jerry Buss, she’s determined to see the Lakers take the lead over the Celtics in championships.

“When he started, he wanted to take on the Boston Celtics and all the winning they had done,” Jeanie said. “Now, with ring No. 17, we’re tied with the Celtics in terms of winning (championships). That’s what he set out to do. And certainly the work is not done yet. We have to continue that quest, and we’ll do so.”

The Celtics had an opportunity to surpass the Lakers last season, advancing to the NBA Finals for the first time in 12 years. However, they lost to the Golden State Warriors in six games.

The Lakers failed to reach the playoffs last season after finishing 33-49.

The Los Angeles Lakers are getting “The Office” treatment.

Lakers controlling owner Jeanie Buss is teaming up with “The Office” star and executive producer Mindy Kaling on a workplace comedy for Netflix about the NBA organization’s front office, according to Deadline’s Nellie Andreeva. Buss and Kaling will both serve as executive producers alongside “Modern Family” writer and producer Elaine Ko, who also penned the untitled series.

The 10-episode series will follow fictional Lakers governor Eliza Reed as she juggles team ownership and family drama.

This is the third Lakers-inspired series in the works, joining HBO’s 1980s Lakers drama and Hulu’s nine-part docuseries about the team.

Though LeBron James has only played two seasons for the Los Angeles Lakers, Jeanie Buss says his presence has already reverberated throughout one of the most storied franchises in sports.

“I hope he plays for many, many more years,” Buss, the Lakers’ controlling owner, told The Athletic’s Sam Amick. “But whatever his term is with the Lakers, he has forever left his mark on this team and this organization and on me.

“He is somebody that I treasure, and I will protect. I have just enjoyed watching him play and nurture along his teammates and bring out the best in them. He really is the most unique person in the league today.”

With injuries slowing him, James was unable to snap the Lakers’ playoff drought during his first year in purple and gold. However, as fellow superstar Anthony Davis flanks him, a healthy James is fresh off a season when he averaged 25.3 points, 7.8 rebounds, and a league-leading 10.2 assists per game at the age of 35, pacing Los Angeles to a Western Conference-leading 52-19 (.732) record.

Now the 16-time All-Star is four wins away from capturing a fourth career title.

“I couldn’t be more proud that he’s a Laker,” Buss added. “He belongs as part of our history, and he’s bringing this franchise back to where it should be.”

Game 1 of the 2020 NBA Finals – with the Lakers facing James’ former Heat team – tips off Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET.

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Los Angeles Lakers controlling owner Jeanie Buss issued her first public statement since Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven others died in a helicopter accident in California on Sunday.

Buss posted a photo of herself on Instagram alongside Bryant, his wife, Vanessa, and two of their daughters, Natalia and Gianna. She reflected on the impact that Kobe and Gianna left on her following the death of her father, Jerry Buss, and emphasized that the Lakers organization will be there to support the Bryant family through the tragedy.

Kobe, I don’t know how to express what you mean to me, my family and the Los Angeles Lakers. My father loved you like a son, which makes us family. When you invited me to lunch shortly after my father passed away, I was struggling to find motivation and purpose.

Kobe, you brought Gianna with you to spend some time with me. You explained that you wanted to show her that women can be leaders in the NBA, just like the men.

At first, it seemed like an action of a devoted father setting an example for his daughter. But in actuality – and I am positively sure you knew EXACTLY what you were doing – what you did was give me the inspiration and strength I was searching for. I reflect on that day often and it makes me smile and it makes me strong. I call on that memory whenever I feel down and need a bit of courage.

For everything you did on the court that filled me with so much joy and love, for all the lives you changed through basketball itself, it was that day with Gigi that reignited my drive and determination.

Vanessa, Natalia, Bianka, and Capri – I am so sorry for your loss. We are grateful to have you in our lives and we will always be here for you. To the families that also lost loved ones on Sunday, the entire Laker family mourns with you.

Laker Nation – we are one family grieving the loss of people we all loved dearly. We will mourn together, cry together but we will also heal together, love together and win TOGETHER. We love you.

The executive took over as Lakers governor following her father’s death in 2013.

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Uncle Dennis wanted a lot from the Los Angeles Lakers this summer.

Dennis Robertson, the infamous relative and confidant of Los Angeles Clippers star Kawhi Leonard, who accompanied the forward during his free-agency negotiations, asked Lakers owner Jeanie Buss for part ownership of the franchise, a private plane, a house, and guaranteed endorsement money if Leonard signed with the team, reports Sam Amick of The Athletic.

Robertson reportedly made the requests on three separate occasions during phone calls with Buss. However, the longtime Lakers executive rejected his demands as they would violate the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement.

Leonard’s uncle apparently went as far as to ask why the Lakers gave Magic Johnson an ownership stake after the team legend was forced to retire in 1991 following his HIV diagnosis.

The NBA investigated the Clippers after Leonard agreed to a three-year, $103-million deal with the team. Complaints were thereafter made about Robertson’s demands, sources told Amick.

The probe found no evidence that the Clippers approved Robertson’s demands, but commissioner Adam Silver will open the investigation again if new information comes to light, according to Amick.

This is not the first time that reports have surfaced of unauthorized proposals by Robertson.

In July, he also made “unreasonable” requests of the Toronto Raptors that even team president Masai Ujiri was unable to fulfill. While those demands were never revealed, they are said to be similar to what he asked of the Lakers, sources told Amick.

Los Angeles Lakers governor and controlling owner Jeanie Buss spoke publicly for the first time since Magic Johnson abruptly resigned before the club’s final game of the season, admitting that his decision caught her “off guard” while expressing confidence in the team’s current management.

“I didn’t see that coming,” Buss said prior to Monday’s NBA Awards show, according to ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk. “But everything else has been pretty much as any organization moves forward and changes going into a new season. So as much as has been speculated as to what the Lakers are doing, to me, we are in a really good place and we are following our path, and our plan, going into the next season.”

General manager Rob Pelinka has taken over the Lakers’ basketball operations and recently executed the reported blockbuster deal for New Orleans Pelicans superstar Anthony Davis. The former agent apparently had a falling out with Johnson, who accused Pelinka of “backstabbing” him shortly after leaving the Lakers.

When asked about Johnson’s comments, Buss attributed them to his unpredictable nature.

“I can’t really anticipate what he thinks,” Buss said. “He has to answer those questions. He’s always full of surprises. Like as surprising as it was, it kind of reminded me of back in 1981 when he asked to be traded after winning a championship with the Lakers because he wasn’t happy with the way the offense had changed. And that led us to getting Pat Riley as our head coach.

“So he’s got good instincts. He’s got to stay true to who he is and do what is right for him. I wish I would’ve had a little bit more notice, but I think we are going to be just fine.”

The Lakers finished with a 37-45 record in 2018-19 and missed the playoffs for the sixth straight season.

Magic Johnson went into far more detail on Monday than can be provided in a 280-character tweet, speaking freely on the circumstances surrounding his resignation last month as president of the Los Angeles Lakers.

In an hour-long appearance on ESPN’s “First Take,” Johnson took aim at Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka and what he perceived as backstabbing.

“I started hearing, ‘I’m not working hard enough, Magic’s not in the office,'” Johnson said. “So people around the Lakers office was telling me, ‘Rob was saying things’ … and I didn’t like those things being said behind my back. So I started getting calls from my friends outside of basketball, saying those things now were said to them.”

Johnson said he had no previous relationship with Pelinka, who was an NBA agent for players such as Kobe Bryant before being hired by the Lakers alongside Johnson in 2017.

“What was crazy was, when I took the job, you know how many agents called me, and said, ‘You got to watch out for (Pelinka)?'” Johnson said.

The NBA legend said he decided to move on from the Lakers after team owner Jeanie Buss chose not to act on his recommendation to fire head coach Luke Walton during the season.

“The straw that broke the camel’s back was I wanted to fire Luke Walton,” he said. “I showed (Buss) the things he did well and the things he didn’t do well. And I said, ‘Listen, we gotta get a better coach.'”

Johnson said he wanted to hire Tyronn Lue as head coach, but that Buss decided not to dismiss Walton, who ended up parting ways with the Lakers after the season ended.

“We went back and forth like that, and then she brought (Lakers COO) Tim Harris into the meeting … and Tim wanted to keep him … because he was friends with (Walton). When I looked up and said, ‘Wait a minute, I only really answer to Jeanie Buss (and) now I’ve got Tim involved.’ And I said, ‘It’s time for me to go.'”

Johnson ultimately resigned at an impromptu press conference before the Lakers’ season finale on April 9. Beyond Pelinka’s alleged treachery, Johnson said he believes Buss has too many people in the organization trying to tell her what to do.

“If you’re going to talk betrayal, it’s only with Rob,” he said. “I didn’t like that Tim Harris was too involved in basketball. He’s supposed to run the Laker business … Jeanie’s gotta stop that … there’s too many people at the table.”

He also believes former Lakers coach and Buss’s former fiance, Phil Jackson, still advises her.

“You can’t run a corporation like this,” Johnson said.

Johnson added that he would not have approached the Lakers’ failed midseason attempt to trade for Anthony Davis any differently.

“You have to do that for Anthony Davis,” he said. “I told (then-New Orleans Pelicans GM) Dell Demps, ‘Let’s keep (trade talks) private,’ but Dell didn’t do that.”

With the Los Angeles Lakers eliminated from playoff contention for a sixth straight year, the focus has now shifted to whether Luke Walton will remain the head coach next season.

However, Lakers owner Jeanie Buss said, “I’m not going to give you the answer to that question,” when asked about Walton’s job security on the “Sports Business Radio Road Show,” according to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin.

Buss was complimentary of Walton’s work ethic and understands he was handcuffed by injuries to key players this season.

“And that’s a challenge for a coach to constantly be changing lineups, and it’s hard,” Buss said. “But we were in a position where things were all going in the right way, and we beat Golden State on Christmas Day, which was a great present for me, but then also LeBron got hurt. So it really puts a lot of pressure on the coaching situation in terms of what he’s able to do when he’s shorthanded with players.”

“I think he is a hard worker, and he is somebody that players gravitate towards, and he’s, I think, done an incredible job under a lot of challenging circumstances.”

The Lakers were 20-14 when James went down with a groin injury on Dec. 25 and lost 11 of 17 in his absence.

Though Buss is understanding of Walton’s circumstances, she admitted team president Magic Johnson will continue to lead the franchise.

“In terms of basketball decisions, I will always defer to Magic,” Buss said. “He’s brought a vision of the kind of team we’re going to build and a vision of what Lakers basketball is going to be. And I think you can see that. But we’re still building that roster that will get us there.”

Walton took over as head coach of the Lakers in 2016 after two seasons as an assistant with the Golden State Warriors, though L.A. has gone just 96-146 in his three seasons.

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Los Angeles Lakers owner Jeanie Buss slammed reports suggesting the club was prepared to package its “entire roster” for a “certain player,” according to Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck.

At the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference on Saturday, Buss called the trade reports “fake news” and noted the consequences.

“There’s damage done to team chemistry when players have to read about (trade rumors),” Buss said. “It seems like there’s more stuff out there with no sources. I’d like to see more responsibility.”

Before the trade deadline, the Lakers reportedly offered Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram, Lance Stephenson, Rajon Rondo, Michael Beasley, and two first-round picks to the New Orleans Pelicans in exchange for superstar Anthony Davis and Solomon Hill.