Lakers Rumors: Linda Rambis Viewed as LA's 'Shadow Owner' Around the NBA

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMay 2, 2019

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 24: Linda Rambis (L) and Jeanie Buss attend a basketball game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Sacramento Kings at Staples Center on March 24, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images)
Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images

Linda Rambis, the close friend of Los Angeles Lakers owner Jeanie Buss, is reportedly viewed by many in the NBA as someone who has a great deal of power and influence within the Lakers' front office.

According to ESPN's Amin Elhassan (h/t Dan Feldman of NBC Sports), there are some in the NBA who consider Rambis the "shadow owner" of the Lakers: "Some agents and GMs around the league have dubbed her the shadow owner of the Lakers, that everything goes through Linda Rambis, and if you want to convince Jeanie of something, you've got to get Linda first."

ESPN's Ramona Shelburne (h/t Feldman) also reported on Rambis' role:

"The fact that people talk about that now is funny to me, because it's been that way, really, for 40 years. They have been best friends. And personality-wise, if you know them, it sort of makes sense. Jeanie can be shy. Linda is more of a talker. She's more of a doer. The difference is, in the past, her role has been more as a consigliere or an events person whereas, right now, there's a lot more dealing with agents."

Rambis is the wife of former Lakers player and assistant coach Kurt Rambis, who has long been friends with former Lakers head coach Phil Jackson. Buss and Jackson were previously involved in a highly publicized relationship, which ended in 2016.

The official title held by Linda Rambis within the Lakers organization is Executive Director, Special Projects, yet she was present for the second head coaching interview with Monty Williams, per The Athletic's Bill Oram.

Amid a coaching search that most notably features Williams and Tyronn Lue as candidates, Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times reported there is a push for Kurt Rambis to be installed as either associate head coach or assistant general manager.

On the heels of Magic Johnson stepping down as president of basketball operations and the Lakers parting ways with Luke Walton as head coach, Buss and general manager Rob Pelinka are leading the head coaching search, although it seems both Linda and Kurt Rambis have a significant hand in the venture as well.