Jeanie Buss Says Has She No Plans to Sell Lakers: 'I'm Not Going Anywhere'

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVMay 10, 2022

EL SEGUNDO, CA - September 20: Jeanie Buss, CEO / Governor / Co-owner of the Los Angeles Lakers, appears as the Lakers host a 2021-2022 season kick-off event to unveil and announce a new global marketing partnership with Bibigo, which will appear on the Lakers jersey at the UCLA Health Training Center in El Segundo on Monday, Sept. 20, 2021. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

While the Los Angeles Lakers are coming off a disappointing campaign in which they failed to even qualify for the play-in tournament, president Jeanie Buss has no plans of selling the team.

"In terms of selling the team, I'm not going anywhere," she said, per Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times (h/t HoopsHype). "This is exactly what my dad asked me to do. The team is not for sale."

She cited her father, Jerry Buss, multiple times in explaining her position.

"This was something that was important to him, that he wanted me to keep the Lakers in the family," she said. "I like to say, my dad had his children, but the Lakers were his baby, and he put me in charge of the baby, and I will make sure that the baby thrives."

Jerry Buss died in 2013, and his succession plan called for Jeanie Buss to become the team's governor and representative at the NBA board of governors meetings. She was also put in charge of the franchise's business operations.

Jerry Buss purchased the Lakers in 1979.

In 2017, Jeanie Buss stripped her brother, Jim, of his role as executive vice president of basketball operations and fired general manager Mitch Kupchak. She hired current general manager Rob Pelinka as Kupchak's replacement.

While the 60-year-old told Plaschke that she is "growing impatient" after spending into the luxury tax just to watch the Purple and Gold finish with a 33-49 record, she also expressed confidence that Pelinka can turn things around this offseason.

"I have complete confidence that he can put together a roster and find a coach that is going to get us back to where we belong," she said.

Doing so will likely start with hiring a new head coach after Los Angeles fired Frank Vogel. Vogel led the team to the 2020 championship inside the Walt Disney World Resort bubble, but the Lakers lost to the Phoenix Suns in the first round of the playoffs the following year and were the biggest disappointment in the league this past season.

Rebuilding the team on the fly may also mean moving on from Russell Westbrook, who was not an ideal fit alongside LeBron James given how ball-dominant both can be and how much the guard struggles to hit from three-point range.

Keeping James and Anthony Davis healthy would also go a long way toward the Lakers returning to contention, but there is still plenty of work to be done this offseason.

Buss made it clear she has no plans to sell the team while that work is done.