On the popular Showtime TV show, Billions, Sanford Bensinger posited that monarchy does not exist in America, but people are knighted when they own a sports team. In that regard and in the real world, there are a few Sirs and Dames in America, one of which is Jeanie Buss, the owner, and president of the famous Los Angeles Lakers.
Jeanie Buss is not a name that those who are unfamiliar with the world of American basketball would know but she has been in the business of sports since she was 19 years of age, following in her father’s footsteps and has grown to become the owner of one of the top franchises in the NBA.
Tracing The Background Of The Sports Royalty
Jeanie Buss was born as one of four children to her parents, Joann and Jerry Buss in Santa Monica, California. her birth took place on the 26th of September in 1961. She joined the family as the third child of her parents and the older of two daughters. Her older brothers are Johnny and Jim while her younger sister is named Janie.
Details of her education history are unknown but we do know that she graduated from the University of Southern California with a bachelor’s degree in Business.
The bliss at home didn’t last for long as Jeanie was just 11 years old when her parents got divorced and although it was a challenging period in her life that caused emotional distress, she soldiered through.
Her father is credited with shaping her career path to what it is today. Jeanie’s first experience with running a sports team came at the age of 14 when she accompanied her father to a World Team Tennis meeting, sparking an interest in sports team ownership. At the age of 17, she moved in with her dad and began to learn more about the world of sports team ownership. Jerry Buss was the majority owner of the Los Angeles Lakers of the NBA, thus, Jeanie had a lot to learn from him before his passing.
Her Career Life Before and Outside Of The Lakers
As expected, Jeanie Buss began building her legacy as a sports executive early in life. While she was still in college, she became the general manager of her first sports team, Los Angeles Strings in 1981 and although the team eventually folded in 1993, she gained enough valuable experience, helping her to build a successful team with her second team, Los Angeles Blades. The venture earned her an award from the Roller Hockey International league association as the Executive of the Year.
Since then, Jeanie Buss has gone on to serve in other prestigious roles as President of the Great Western Forum, Alternate Governor on the NBA Board of Governors and she was Executive Vice President of Business Operations for the Lakers.
The excellence and conduct by which she performed her various roles earned her a spot on the Top 20 Most Influential Women in Sports in 2005.
Carrying On Her Father’s Legacy
Upon the death of her father in 2013, six of his children, three of whom are direct siblings of Jeanie, got an equal vote of his 66% controlling ownership of the Lakers franchise. Additionally, he posited Jeanie to take over his former title as the governor of the club and team representative during the NBA Board of Governors meetings.
She eventually became the owner and President of the LA Lakers in 2013 and has held the position to date, becoming one of the most powerful personalities in the NBA in the process.
While serving as president of the franchise, she is still in charge of the business operations of the club while her brother Jim was commandeering his side as the executive VP of basketball operations before he tendered his resignation in 2017.
Under Jeanie’s tenure as president, Mitch Kupchak’s position as General Manager was terminated with sports agent Rob Pelinka filling the spot. Magic Johnson, a former Lakers’ star player then took the reins as President of Basketball Operations.
Apart from running LA Lakers, Jeanie Buss is a published author of the book, Laker Girl which was released in 2010 and she is also the co-owner of the Women of Wrestling promotion (WOW).
Thank you @Buck and @theoliverhudson for having me on your show. It felt a little like a therapy session (therapy is good for mental wellness) and sometimes that is exactly what is needed. Thanks again 💜 https://t.co/5pGIM7Gt6I
— Jeanie Buss (@JeanieBuss) May 21, 2020
How Much Is Jeanie Buss Worth?
She started out as the daughter of a wealthy man but through her own ingenuity, Jeanie has carved out a name to reckon with for herself, running one of the biggest and most popular NBA franchises in the world.
Along with other investments, particularly in real estate, Jeanie Buss has been able to accrue an estimated net worth of $500 million. The fortune she sits on today might be heavily inspired by the legacy she inherited from her father but Jeanie is has proved over time that she is not one to hide behind another person’s glory. She lives a luxurious life that fans can witness through her Instagram page, @jeaniebuss.
What We Know About Her Love Life
Despite having been successful in other aspects of her life, particularly in business, she hasn’t recorded the same level of success in her personal life. So far, Jeanie Buss is known to have been in two major relationships, one with former volleyball player, Steve Timmons, and the other with former Lakers coach, Phil Jackson.
Her relationship with Steve Timmons lasted well into a marriage that began in 1990 but it only persisted for three years before they got divorced, with Jeanie attributing the failure of the marriage to her inability to put the union first. This was apparently because she was busy dedicating the majority of her time to running various sports teams.
After a few years, Jeanie Buss gave love another try and got involved with Phil Jackson, famed LA Lakers coach. The couple began to date in December 1999 and went as far as getting engaged. Unfortunately, the same challenge that caused the end of her first marriage led to the demise of her relationship with Phil Jackson.
The couple, who had gotten engaged in December 2012, announced the end of their relationship in December 2016. So far, Jeanie Buss has remained publicly single ever since and has no children of her own.