Jeanie Buss, siblings, to offer feedback in Lakers’ coaching search

Jeanie Buss answers talks to the media about the Lakers at a Time Warner event to honor the late Jerry Buss in Los Angeles. Photo by David Crane/Los Angeles Daily News

Jeanie Buss answers talks to the media about the Lakers at a Time Warner event to honor the late Jerry Buss in Los Angeles. Photo by David Crane/Los Angeles Daily News

The Lakers’ coaching search has become unpredictable.

The reasons go beyond the franchise working at a deliberate pace so they can both interview a flurry of candidates and finalize the search without feeling rushed. This search will not involve the late Lakers owner Jerry Buss. With his passing affecting the organization’s hierarchy, the Lakers will have added input from all of the six Buss siblings, including president Jeanie Buss, according to a person familiar with the team’s thought process.

Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak and vice president of player personnel Jim Buss will still lead the coaching search through numerous phone and in-person interviews. The two have already met with a flurry of candidates, including Byron Scott (last week), Kurt Rambis (Tuesday) and Alvin Gentry (Wednesday). They also plan to meet with Lionel Hollins on Thursday. Former Clippers and Lakers coach also met last week with just Kupchak. But Jeanie Buss has and will receive updates on the search and provide feedback if she feels it is necessary.

“Does that mean they will decide who the coach is going to be? No,” said a person familiar with the Lakers’ coaching search process. “It’s not like there’s going to be seven people making that decision.”

Whenever the Lakers finalize on a candidate, a recommendation will then be presented to the other Buss siblings, including Joey Jesse and Johnny Buss as well as Janie Buss Drexel. The siblings will not hold a formal vote, but they can then ask questions or express any concerns. The Lakers anticipate such feedback will address logistical issues, such as the length and amount of a coaching contract, than providing feedback on the actual candidate. Both Kupchak and Jim Buss will still have sole influence on managing the basketball operations.

This development was first reported by the Los Angeles Times.

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Donald Sterling ban: Lakers president Jeanie Buss praises Adam Silver’s ‘great leadership’

Jeanie Buss and Phil Jackson talks to the media about the Lakers at a Time Warner event to honor the late Jerry Buss in Los Angeles.  Photo by David Crane/Los Angeles Daily News

Jeanie Buss and Phil Jackson talks to the media about the Lakers at a Time Warner event to honor the late Jerry Buss in Los Angeles. Photo by David Crane/Los Angeles Daily News

Lakers president Jeanie Buss officially marked one of many NBA owners that applauded NBA Commissioner Adam Silver for issuing Clippers owner Donald Sterling a life-time ban after making racially insensitive remarks on an audio tape.

“In my statement yesterday, I said I had full confidence in Adam Silver and how he and the NBA would handle this situation,” Buss said Tuesday in a statement. “In today’s announcement Adam was decisive, firm and compelling and showed great leadership in his condemnation of the horrible and offensive comments that have led to this action.”

Sterling’s life-time ban means he is barred from attending any Clippers games, including tonight’s Game 5 of their first-round series against the Golden State Warriors at Staples Center. Sterling also cannot go to any practices and has no say in any future business and personnel decisions. Silver also handed Sterling a $2.5 million fine.

Silver said three-fourths of the NBA’s owners would have to vote to force Sterling to sell the Clippers.

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Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter and on Facebook. E-mail him at mark.medina@langnews.com

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Donald Sterling controversey: Jeanie Buss condemns comments

In this Dec. 19, 2010, file photo, Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, right, and V. Stiviano, left, watch the Clippers play the Los Angeles Lakers during an NBA preseason basketball game in Los Angeles. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver is intent on moving quickly in dealing with the racially charged scandal surrounding Clippers owner Sterling. The NBA league will discuss its investigation Tuesday, April 29, 2014, before the Clippers play Golden State in Game 5 of their playoff series. (AP Photo/Danny Moloshok, File)

In this Dec. 19, 2010, file photo, Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, right, and V. Stiviano, left, watch the Clippers play the Los Angeles Lakers during an NBA preseason basketball game in Los Angeles. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver is intent on moving quickly in dealing with the racially charged scandal surrounding Clippers owner Sterling. The NBA league will discuss its investigation Tuesday, April 29, 2014, before the Clippers play Golden State in Game 5 of their playoff series. (AP Photo/Danny Moloshok, File)

Amid racist statements attributed to Clippers owner Donald Sterling, the Lakers released a statement condemning such words.

“The comments and sentiments expressed on the tape are reprehensible and disturbing, and certainly are the opposite of how the Lakers feel about the league’s players and fans,” Lakers President Jeanie Buss said in the statement. “I have full confidence that Adam Silver and the NBA will handle this situation appropriately.”

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Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter and on Facebook. E-mail him at mark.medina@langnews.com

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Jeanie Buss: “I am the one voice”

Los Angeles Lakers executive vice president Jeanie Buss reacts to the crowd during the Lakers' NBA championship ring ceremony before a basketball game against the Houston Rockets in Los Angeles, Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2010. (Chris Carlson/The Associated Press file)

Los Angeles Lakers executive vice president Jeanie Buss reacts to the crowd during the Lakers’ NBA championship ring ceremony before a basketball game against the Houston Rockets in Los Angeles, Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2010. (Chris Carlson/The Associated Press file)

A little over a year since the passing of the late Jerry Buss, the Lakers offered some clarity on who’s ultimately in charge of the organization.

“I am the one voice and that one person,” Lakers president Jeanie Buss said Thursday on 710 ESPN. “I’m at the top of the food chain.”

Buss, who runs the Lakers’ business operations, then explained that she and her five siblings own the team in a trust established by their father. Although the Buss family remain majority owners, the Lakers have other investors, including Anschutz Entertainment Group, real estate developer Ed Roski and doctor Patrick Soon-Shiong.

Buss also said that, just like her father, she has deferred Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak and vice president of player personnel Jim Buss to oversee basketball operations.

“They are empowered to do that. My job is to make sure, as a boss, that I provide them the tools to do the job successfully,” Buss said. “But it’s up to them to make the day-to-day decisions on how they operate their area of the business.”
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Jeanie Buss said Phil Jackson was never offered an official position with the Lakers

 Phil Jackson during his introductory press conference at Madison Square Garden on March 18, 2014 in New York City.

Phil Jackson during his introductory press conference at Madison Square Garden on March 18, 2014 in New York City.

The news that the Lakers chose Mike D’Antoni over Phil Jackson to become the next Lakers coach affected Jeanie Buss’ emotional well being. After a tumultuous season filled with a first-round exit, never-ending injuries and a split among stars and role players in embracing D’Antoni’s fast-paced system, Buss conceded wondering how things may have played out differently had Jackson become the coach. And this whole dynamic bothered Buss so much she detailed her frustration on how it affected her relationship with her brother, the Lakers vice president of basketball operations Jim Buss, in a memoir released before this season.

Yet, on an appearance with Time Warner Cable SportsNet on Tuesday night, Buss sounded fairly pragmatic in reflecting on the events that ultimately led toward Jackson becoming president of the New York Knicks’ basketball operations.

“He was not offered any official position,” Buss said regarding Jackson with the Lakers. “There is no role in the front office for him for what he can contribute. Maybe I could have him sell sponsorships, do something like that and work security. But I don’t think that would be something that would give Phil the kind of challenge he’s looking for that would fulfill him. Anybody that knows when you’re not involved in a relationship, if your significant other isn’t happy or satisfied with they’re doing, it’s not fun. Everybody has to find what their passion is. For Phil, basketball is his passion and he’s good at it.”

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Pete Carroll congratulates Phil Jackson on apparent role with New York Knicks

Jeanie Buss and Phil Jackson talks to the media about the Lakers at a Time Warner event to honor the late Jerry Buss in Los Angeles.  Photo by David Crane/Los Angeles Daily News

Jeanie Buss and Phil Jackson talks to the media about the Lakers at a Time Warner event to honor the late Jerry Buss in Los Angeles. Photo by David Crane/Los Angeles Daily News

Everything Pete Carroll has done has seemingly turned into gold, including leading USC to a 2004 BCS national championship and the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks winning Super Bowl XLVIII this past season. Now Carroll has incidentally turned into an NBA insider, tweeting perhaps preemptively that Phil Jackson has accepted a position with the New York Knicks.


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Jeanie & Jim Buss downplay “Laker Girl” excerpts detailing frustration with relationship

Jeanie Buss and Phil Jackson talks to the media about the Lakers at a Time Warner event to honor the late Jerry Buss in Los Angeles.  Photo by David Crane/Los Angeles Daily News

Jeanie Buss and Phil Jackson talks to the media about the Lakers at a Time Warner event to honor the late Jerry Buss in Los Angeles. Photo by David Crane/Los Angeles Daily News

Do Jeanie and Jim Buss get along?

Excerpts from Jeanie’s updated memoir, Laker Girl, suggest they don’t. According to excerpts published by The Los Angeles Times, the Lakers president detailed how the front office passing on Phil Jackson in their coaching search last season and choosing Mike D’Antoni to replace the fired Mike Brown negatively affected her emotional well being.

Considering her allegiances to Jackson as a longtime companion, Jeanie also suggested in the memoir that the situation hurt her relationship with her brother Jim, the Lakers’ vice president of player personnel.

But in statements released by the Lakers, both Jeanie and Jim Buss downplayed what those excerpts suggest.

“The words and sentiments in Jeanie’s new book reflect her feelings and frustrations nearly a year ago, and how she felt at that time,” Jim Buss said in a statement. “I understand that Jeanie felt that way, and why she felt that way. Since that time, we have discussed the situation, the circumstances that led to it, and our feelings about it. Both of us feel this has been resolved and have put this behind us.”

“Jim has been great in terms of understanding my feelings about this and in fostering an atmosphere that has led to better communication,” Jeanie Buss said in a statement. “We have regular meetings and talks and are both committed to creating the best working environment possible, as are my sister and brothers as well. We are focused only on what is best for the franchise and in making the Lakers championship contenders.”

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Jeanie Buss: Lakers passing over Phil Jackson “practically destroyed me”

Jeanie Buss answers talks to the media about the Lakers at a Time Warner event to honor the late Jerry Buss in Los Angeles.  Photo by David Crane/Los Angeles Daily News

Jeanie Buss answers talks to the media about the Lakers at a Time Warner event to honor the late Jerry Buss in Los Angeles. Photo by David Crane/Los Angeles Daily News

Almost 10 months have passed since the Lakers passed on Phil Jackson and chose Mike D’Antoni as instead to take over for Mike Brown as the team’s head coach.

There’s one significant person within the Lakers who remains unhappy about it.

Jeanie Buss.

The Lakers president revealed in her updated memoir, “Laker Girl,” co-written by former Los Angeles Times sportswriter Steve Springer, how the team’s front office handled the coaching search negatively affected her emotional well being.

“The sequence of events — Phil almost coming back and then being told someone else was better for the job — practically destroyed me,” Buss wrote, according to excerpts. “It almost took away my passion for this job and this game. It felt like I had been stabbed in the back. It was a betrayal. I was devastated.”
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