It just wouldn’t be the Los Angeles Lakers without a little bit (or a lot) of drama. Recently, word broke that Jim and Johnny Buss were attempting to remove their sister Jeanie as the team’s president. The motivation seemed clear, as Jeanie had just fired Jim (along with Mitch Kupchak and John Black) from his role atop the team’s basketball operations department.
Ramona Shelburne shed light on the situation in a shocking piece:
This is something huge and it's not going to go away. They're trying to bust the trust so they can sell their [interests]," younger sister Janie Buss says. "And if they sell, that'll leave the rest of us in a minority."
The Buss family currently owns 66 percent of the team, and if the two brothers do find a way to sell, that would put the remaining Buss kids in a minority, though it's not clear exactly how they would do that since the trust also states that all six Buss children would have to agree to a sale.
Janie Buss elaborated further on the motivations of her brothers, via Shelburne:
"The way the trust is set up, it's last man standing," Janie says. "If I die tomorrow, my kids benefit a little bit but they don't get everything I'm entitled to. As we all go down, it's all going to end up in Joey and Jesse's hands because they're the youngest."
She says she understands why Johnny, age 60 with two young kids, would want to cash out and leave more to his own children. She's had the same thought. But ultimately, she wants to follow her father's wishes because, "I am living life better than I ever thought I could live, it's all because of my dad's hard work."
All of this is occurring just when it appeared that the Lakers would finally have a unified voice in the front office, with Jeanie working side-by-side with Johnson. Janie's desertion that this issue won't be going away anytime soon is certainly ominous, and it's going to be a major story to watch in the coming weeks.