Outside of two social media posts, Los Angeles Lakers owner Jeanie Buss has stayed extremely quiet since the 2018-19 NBA season ended.
As former president of basketball operations Magic Johnson did not inform Buss of his resignation first and accused general manager Rob Pelinka of ‘backstabbing’ him later, she reportedly asked him if he had any issues.
In the most important offseason in team history, all eyes are on Buss. With there still being more questions than answers, this is perhaps the first time Buss has been heavily criticized for the direction of the Lakers.
Through all of the conflicting reports, NBA commissioner expressed confidence in Buss and the Lakers, according to Malika Andrews of ESPN:
“I know Jeanie knows how to manage a team,” Silver said Wednesday morning in a wide-ranging interview on ESPN’s Get Up. “Sure, when things start to go wrong, a lot of fingers get pointed. But they’ll figure it out.”
Phoenix Suns head coach Monty Williams also recently had high praise for Buss amid all of the drama, via Adrian Wojnarowski’s The Woj Pod:
“When I spoke with the Lakers, the thing that impressed me more than anything was Ms. Buss and her thoughtfulness and how that particular team and organization is really a part of her DNA. When she talks to you about the team, she’s not only talking to you about basketball. She really is vested in those young men’s lives and I saw that. It is the Lakers. It is a traditional, foundational organization/institution of the league and they have big shoes to fill. Mr. Buss was a trailblazer and so, I saw the burden that she had and she has. She wants to carry on the legacy of her dad. And when I spoke with her, that resonated with me. I was like like this lady is for real. And so, I’m no different than anybody else. I’ve heard some of the things that have been said about her and I really felt bad about that because I didn’t get that. I saw a lady that really cares and she really wants what’s best for the players involved, but also the organization. So for me, I didn’t have a bad experience with them. My talks with them helped me to learn more about another team and for me, it makes me better and more aware of the NBA as a whole.”
While there will continue to be speculation about Buss and the people she surrounds herself with, the Lakers are armed with the No. 4 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft and a max-contract slot in free agency. However, the major concern is how all of this will ultimately impact their ability to improve the roster.
In a time when the Lakers need to show stability, it has been the opposite.