Los Angeles Lakers owner Jeanie Buss gets advice from Phil Jackson, Magic Johnson, LeBron James on ‘tough decisions’

Jeanie Buss isn’t happy that the Los Angeles Lakers aren’t in the playoffs, and the team owner said she got the opinion of some celebrities – including Phil Jackson, Magic Johnson and, yes, LeBron James – about how I can get back there.

“If we don’t live up to the Lakers standard, I’m going to look at absolutely everything,” Buss told the Los Angeles Times in an interview released Tuesday. “I’m going to make tough decisions because you have to do it.”

After missing the 33-49 playoffs, the Lakers, who had their fourth highest-paid salary in the NBA, fired coach Frank Vogel in April. While CEO Rob Pelinka is the main man for the organization looking for a replacement, sources told ESPN last week that Buss, Jackson and longtime adviser Kurt Rambis are also a significant part of talks with vet candidates.

Jackson, the Hall of Fame coach, won five of his 11 NBA titles during his two terms in the Lakers. He is also Buss’ ex-boyfriend.

“People see us around town, we have breakfast, lunch, dinner, whatever … it’s nothing romantic,” Buss told the Times. “He’s someone who knows this environment and knows the challenges I have and wants to see the Lakers successful, so he’s someone I know has no other plan but for the Lakers to be successful, so he’s someone I can rely on. “

Johnson, a legendary Hall of Fame player who hastily stepped down as president of the Lakers in 2019 amid insinuations of “stabbing in the back,” also had Buss ’ear during that time.

Asked by the Times if she was relying on Johnson’s advice again, Buss said: “Absolutely.”

“Ultimately, the Lakers are important to him and he wants the Lakers to win, and he wants the Lakers to be at the top,” Buss told the Times. “I know it’s in his heart, and I trust him, and … my relationship with him is as good as it has ever been.”

Buss said she is also seeking help from James, her star she hopes is “lucky” enough to stay with the Lakers going forward.

“It’s normal when you have a top player or players, you reject things from them,” Buss told the Times. – I think it’s a smart job.

Buss, however, made it clear that the Lakers are still her team.

“Do they have the last word? No,” Buss said when asked if LeBron and Klutch are leading the Sports Lakers. “Are they running the team? No, no, not at all. I control the owner of the Los Angeles Lakers. I feel responsible for every decision that is made here.”

And that responsibility obviously includes adhering to Pelinka, who has been on the team since 2017.

“As far as basketball decisions are concerned, I have complete confidence in our head office, which is run by Rob Pelinka,” Buss told the Times. “He is a person who is extremely smart, extremely strategic, everything he does is thoughtful and purposeful … I am fully convinced that he can compile a list and find a coach who will bring us back to where we belong.”


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