This drew the anger of her brother Johnny. “I read in the papers that my brother is being fired publicly,” said Johnny Buss. “I called my brother and he said, ‘I had no idea Jeanie could even fire me.’” A legal fight between the siblings consolidated Jeanie’s control.
Johnny, the owner of the Ice House Comedy Club, said he is not speaking to his brother Jim now and is keeping an emotional distance from the management of the family business and the sister in charge. “Jeanie has really matured in the last two years, to the point where I’m really proud of her, but that doesn’t mean I’ll talk to her a lot,” he said. (An attorney for Jim Buss could not be reached for comment.)
Mrs. Buss does not apologize. “My dad had his kids, but the Lakers were his baby, ”she said. “My father said, ‘You are ultimately responsible, you have to protect the baby.'”
She hired Mr. Johnson and said, “Get us back on track to stability and integrity.”
But in 2019, less than a year after signing LeBron James, Mr Johnson resigned and told the press in front of Ms. Buss. “If I had spoken to her first,” said Mr. Johnson, “I would never have resigned, so I had to do it the way I did. We would have been in the room together and we would have cried. “
His exit – “the magical abdication,” as Mr. Jackson called it – drew total media control of the royal family drama.
“I wish it had been handled less publicly,” said Ms. Buss. But she emerged as the club’s enduring leader under the pressure: the death of Mr. Bryant and a pandemic that put the grieving team into an isolated bubble, away from family and detached from a civil rights movement that for many players is more personal Relevance is. “I have a lump in my throat just thinking about what the players did in the most difficult of circumstances,” she said.