The Los Angeles Lakers helped take the NBA to new heights in the 1980’s under the stewardship of owner Dr. Jerry Buss. The Showtime era teams flew up and down the floor, putting on a show fit for Hollywood.
After the unfortunate death of Dr. Buss in 2013, the Lakers were passed down to his children, with daughter Jeanie Buss acting as president and controlling owner. She is attempting to honor the legacy of her father by returning the organization back to the top of the NBA mountain.
In a recent appearance with Mark Willard and Bill Paschke on Fox Sports Radio, Buss was happy to hear that she is perceived as following in her father’s footsteps, and attributed some of it to working well with president of basketball operations Magic Johnson:
“I’m glad that you say that, because really, that’s all I know. Is what my father taught me and what I’ve learned working in this business for over 30 years. I’m just doing exactly what it is that I understand. When I sat down with Magic Johnson, he and I see things the same way, because basically, Dr. Buss taught Magic what he knew as well. So we kind of see things the same way, and that’s what makes it so wonderful to go to work with him every day. We’re of the same mind.”
Buss has made some difficult decisions in her time at the helm, including firing her brother, Jim, and longtime general manager Mitch Kupchak. She replaced them with Johnson and former agent Rob Pelinka, and the move paid off.
Now, an organization that was directionless has an identity as a fast-paced, running team loaded with intriguing young talent. That helped them hit the jackpot this summer when Johnson was able to convince LeBron James to sign with the Lakers.
There is still plenty of work to be done, but Buss appears to have the organization headed back to the place where her father took it: the pinnacle of the NBA.
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