Buss family battle for control of Lakers moves into court

Jeanie Buss
Updated 04 March 2017

Buss family battle for control of Lakers moves into court

LOS ANGELES: A behind-the-scenes battle for control of the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers has gone public with Jeanie Buss’s lawyer saying she had rebuffed an initial bid by brothers Jim and Johnny to oust her as controlling owner of the club.
Jeanie Buss went to court on Thursday to seek a temporary restraining order preventing the brothers from holding a meeting next week to elect a new board of directors for the storied franchise.
According to court documents, the brothers proposed four directors, but did not include her, and if she isn’t on the board she can’t continue as the controlling owner of the team as outlined in the family trust set up by their late father, longtime Lakers owner Jerry Buss who died in 2013 at the age of 80.
The brothers withdrew the request on Friday, but Jeanie Buss’s lawyer Adam Streisand told the Los Angeles Times he did not expect that to be the end of the matter.
“This is no doubt the beginning and not the end of the game-playing,” Streisand told the newspaper. “They don’t have a legal leg to stand on. This is a legal strategy doomed to failure.”
In papers filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on Thursday, Buss maintains that her brother Johnny “with the active participation of Jim breached the express terms of the trust that require them to take all actions reasonably available to them to ensure that (Jeanie) remains the controlling owner of the Lakers.”
NBA spokesman Mike Bass said in a statement that as far as the league is concerned, Jeanie Buss remains in charge of the team.
“Jeanie Buss is the sole Governor of the Los Angeles Lakers and under league rules, she has control over the team,” the statement said. “She has not only been a terrific leader for the Lakers organization, guiding the business before and after her father’s passing, but an incredibly influential voice among all our team owners.”
Two weeks ago, Jeanie Buss shook up the Lakers management, firing Jim Buss as vice president of basketball operations. She also sacked general manager Mitch Kupchak and hired former Lakers great Earvin “Magic” Johnson as president of basketball operations.
In announcing the moves she said Johnson — who sparked the Lakers to five NBA titles in the 1980s — would be in charge of all basketball operations and report directly to her.
Three days after that shakeup, Johnny Buss, who is in charge of corporate development for the Lakers, notified his sister of plans for the planned board of directors vote.
The Lakers have won 16 NBA titles. They dazzled Los Angeles and the league in the “Showtime” era of Johnson with championship runs in 1980, 1982, 1985, 1987 and 1988.
They returned to greatness behind superstar guard Kobe Bryant with five NBA crowns from 2000-2010 but are languishing at 19-43 this season.
The Boston Celtics trounced the Lakers 115-95 on Friday night at Staples Center, where coach Luke Walton insisted the front-office drama would not impact the team’s performance.
“It’s easy for me (to ignore). I coach and I focus. We’ve got a lot of focus on with our players and what we’re trying to do. Stuff that’s not in my control I don’t spend much time thinking about,” Walton said.


Rays rally with walkoff stunner to level World Series against Dodgers

Updated 26 October 2020

Rays rally with walkoff stunner to level World Series against Dodgers

ARLINGTON, United States: Brett Phillips’s single scored two runs and the Tampa Bay Rays walked off with a stunning 8-7 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers Saturday that knotted the World Series at two games apiece.
The Rays became the first team in post-season history to homer in four straight innings, but they trailed 7-6 heading into the bottom of the ninth.
With two out and two on, Phillips — who entered the game in the eighth as a pinch runner — was down to his last strike in the ninth when he singled to right center field off Dodgers closing pitcher Kenley Jansen and Kevin Kiermaier scored from second base.
Randy Arozarena racing from first, rounded third after the ball bounced off the glove of Dodgers outfielder Chris Taylor.
Arozarena tripped between third and home and looked done for, but Dodgers catcher Will Smith bobbled the throw to the plate and Arozarena was able to scramble forward and throw himself headfirst across the plate in time.
“Golly, what a special moment,” said Phillips, who last got a hit in the Rays’ 58th game of the regular season on September 25.
“I am having a hard time putting my emotions into words,” Phillips said. “Baseball is fun.”
Kiermaier called the ending — which sent the Rays into a frenzy of celebration on Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, “truly incredible.”
Arozarena notched a record-breaking ninth home run of the post-season. Kiermaier, Hunter Renfroe and Brandon Lowe also homered for the Rays, who are seeking the first World Series title in franchise history.
The Dodgers, back in the World Series for a third time in four years after disappointments in 2017 and 2018, are seeking their seventh title — but a first since 1988.
“This is certainly a tough one,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “They were the best team all year in the American League.
“They are not going to give anything away. We’ve got to regroup and get ready for tomorrow.”
The spectacular ending, capped a tense back-and-forth battle with a World Series record eight straight half-innings with a run scored.
Justin Turner and Corey Seager homered for the Dodgers. Seager’s was his eighth of the playoffs, temporarily tying the single post-season record until Arozarena notched his ninth in the fourth frame.
For the second game in a row Turner got things rolling with a solo homer in the first inning.
Seager added a solo shot in the top of the third that put the Dodgers up 2-0, but Arozarena pulled back a run in the bottom of the fourth with a lead-off blast to right centerfield off a 95 mph fastball from Julio Urias.
Los Angeles stretched the lead to 3-1 in the fifth when Seager singled off Rays relief pitcher Pete Fairbanks and reached second on a wild pitch. With two outs in the inning Max Muncy reached first on a sharp line drive to right field that scored Seager.
The Rays responded with a home run from Renfroe to cut the margin to one run in the bottom of the fifth.
The Dodgers pushed the lead back to two in the top of the sixth when Enrique Hernandez fired a double down the left field line that scored two.
But Lowe — the two-homer hero of the Rays’ game-two victory — put the Rays in front for the first time with a three-run blast off Dodgers reliever Pedro Baez in the bottom of the sixth.
In the seventh, Dodgers pinch-hitter Joc Pederson came up with the bases loaded and two out and delivered a two-run single that put Los Angeles back in front.
All seven Dodgers runs came with two outs — continuing a trend for them this series.
The Rays however, wouldn’t be denied, Kiermaier’s homer off Baez knotting the score at 6-6.
“We have no quit,” Kiermaier said. “We have been doing that all year. We’ve been the comeback kids. To do it on the big stage makes it that much sweeter.”