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Report: Jeanie Buss to Have 'Added Input' in Los Angeles Lakers Coaching Search

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 29: Executive Vice President of Business Operations Jeanie Buss poses with Los Angeles Dodgers player Yasiel Puig at Staples Center on October 29, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2013 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Dan FavaleFeatured ColumnistMay 29, 2014

Jeanie Buss will be lending an extra set of eyes to the Los Angeles Lakers' coaching search.

According to the Los Angeles Times' Mike Bresnahan, Buss will be among the key decision-makers who are tasked with putting Mike D'Antoni's successor in place:

She will have added input in finding Mike D'Antoni's replacement, The Times has learned.

Lakers executives Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak will do the majority of the work via phone calls and interviews with numerous candidates but Jeanie Buss will be updated continually and offer feedback if she feels the need.

Before now, it was unclear how involved Buss would be. General manager Mitch Kupchak and vice president Jim Buss were the ones most heavily linked to Los Angeles' latest quest.

But it makes sense that Jeanie would enter the mix. Like Bresnahan says, she holds the "highest" position in the organization. This is the first Lakers coaching search in roughly four decades that hasn't included the late Dr. Jerry Buss, so it's only natural that Jeanie, who sits atop the team's pecking order, would "replace" him.

There are a lot of moving parts to the Lakers' coaching expedition. Per Bresnahan, they'll be interviewing truckloads of candidates, and every member of the Buss family is expected to have some degree of say in who's hired:

The Lakers could ultimately meet with 10 coaching candidates but once the two Buss siblings and Kupchak narrow the field dramatically, a recommendation will be presented to the other four Buss siblings — Joey, Jesse, Johnny Buss and Janie Buss Drexel. There will not necessarily be a vote, but it will be a time for the other siblings to ask questions or voice any vehement objections.

Establishing a chain of command, or familial committee, is the easy part. Picking the right sideline wanderer will be much harder. 

To date, the Lakers have been associated with mostly veteran coaching candidates. They have already met with Mike Dunleavy and Alvin Gentry. Current assistant Kurt Rambis has also received some face time with the team. 

Former Memphis Grizzlies head coach Lionel Hollins, who is easily one of the biggest names available, will be interviewed by the team soon as well, according to the Los Angeles Daily News' Mark Medina:

No clear favorite has emerged from the Lakers' pool of prospects—a sign of how extensive this entire process will wind up being—but Byron Scott, who has spoken with the team already, has declared himself the best man for this job.

"I think what they're going to probably try to do at the end of the day is hire the best coach...possible to bring the organization back to the glory years," he told USA Today's Sam Amick. "I'm a little biased, because I think that person is me."

Expect the Lakers to turn over even more rocks in the coming weeks. They don't appear to be in any rush, and with so many people advising the search, it's going to take a while. 

"There are weeks yet to go in this search," Bleacher Report's Kevin Ding wrote, "and veterans Scott, Lionel Hollins and Alvin Gentry shouldn't be perceived as the 'finalists' for the job just because they're getting sit-down interviews now."

Time, in this case, isn't of the essence.

Hiring the right coach is—something Jeanie, Jim and the rest of the Buss clan must bear in mind as they pore over their growing list of options.

 

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