From Kobe Bryant’s injuries to the power struggle between the Buss siblings, the Los Angeles Lakers endured a lot of adversity in the 2010s.
The Lakers went on a seven-year playoff draught between 2013 and 2020, the longest they had ever waited for postseason basketball. However, the results only partly accounted for the worst decade in franchise history as, at the same time, Jeanie Buss clashed with her brothers, Jim and Johnny, after Dr. Jerry Buss’ death in 2013.
Four years later, Jeanie assumed control of the franchise after a nasty legal battle, which has been explored in “Legacy: The True Story of the LA Lakers.” And while the 60-year-old Lakers governor told GQ’s Tyler R. Tynes that the docuseries has aided the Buss siblings’ recovery from the conflict, Jeanie maintains she made the right choice in proceeding with her takeover:
Tyler R. Tynes: You talked about your brothers: Is there still tension in the family after what happened? While watching Legacy, there’s feels like there’s still a bit of beef on the table. You mentioned that things are on the mend, so how are things going with family rehabilitation?
Jeanie Buss: Really well. This doc allowed a lot of healing to take place, with everybody being able to say their piece. When my father passed away, the Lakers value would have probably been pegged between $1.5 billion and, you know, we hadn’t yet sold the Clippers to Steve Ballmer for $2 billion. And, now, the Forbes valuation has our team worth over $5 billion.
In the 10 years, I think they would say I’ve been a good steward of the brand. I’ve protected the shareholders. We won a championship and are now tied with the Celtics in terms of titles. So: I think they would say that I was the right person for the job and that’s what my dad had intended.
Jeanie famously instilled Magic Johnson as president of basketball operations and secretly hired general manager Rob Pelinka to take control of the Lakers away from brother and former franchise executive Jim in 2017.
The fiery power struggle between the Buss siblings helped “Legacy” director Antoine Fuqua figure out that the leading theme of his documentary could emulate TV shows such as “The Godfather” or “Succession.”
Jeanie Buss promises to give Darvin Ham ‘time and resources’ to succeed
Among the major decisions Jeanie Buss made this summer, she hired Darvin Ham to take over from Frank Vogel as Lakers head coach following a disappointing 2021-22 season.
Ham will be in charge of L.A.’s revival in his first head-coaching job. However, Jeanie said the 49-year-old will be given the necessary “time and resources” to put together a competitive team and improve on last year’s fiasco.