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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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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