The Los Angeles Lakers were able to find their way back to the top, winning an NBA championship in head coach Frank Vogel’s first season. In addition, Jeanie Buss became the league’s first female owner to win a championship, doing it in her third full season in that role.
Buss has taken her fair share of criticism over the last few years. Hiring Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka without doing any sort of interview process, doubling down on Pelinka when Johnson resigned and accused Pelinka of backstabbing, and a drama-filled coaching search all were reasons for disapproval.
However, Buss has proven everyone wrong, putting all the right people in correct positions and bringing L.A. their 17th championship. Vogel had nothing but kind words for the type of leader Buss has been for the franchise.
“Obviously Dr. Buss is who created the Laker way and the love for the L.A. Lakers,” he said. “Jeanie being a big part of that, obviously being raised through that and being a part of their rise, all those types of things.
“But for me, it’s been a different dynamic with her leading the way now. She’s been an incredible leader for our organization. She’s really given us every resource that we could ask for, has shown support in every way that you can support a coaching staff, a team, a front office.
“She’s just got a great demeanor about her. She’s great to be around, and she’s a huge part of why we’re so connected.”
One of the flagships of the Buss family’s ownership of the Lakers is how well they treat their players. This is especially true for their superstars, evident in the way Kobe Bryant, Johnson, and LeBron James are considered major parts of the Lakers family.
With the latest championship, Buss has cemented herself as one of the best owners in the NBA. Vogel, who was not seen as the Lakers’ first choice when they hired him in 2019, has also shown the type of leader he is. In hindsight, he was the perfect hire for the franchise at a time when they desperately needed stability.
Buss credits Johnson for reviving the Lakers culture
Despite his rocky exit from the team, Buss and Pelinka still give Johnson the utmost respect and credit for the work he did in his short stint as president of basketball operations. Buss has regularly praised and credited Johnson for being key in changing the Lakers’ direction and luring James.
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