With the Los Angeles Lakers’ game 6 win on Sunday, Jeanie Buss became the first woman controlling owner to win an NBA Championship. The Lakers team respects Buss as the president and made it known Sunday night. Buss has led the team through a turbulent time in the their history and it has not been easy.
How did she get to the Los Angeles Lakers?
Before Jeanie stepped in as the Lakers president, her father, Jerry Buss, was owner. Jerry was highly respected as both a player and an owner. The whole Lakers organization and fan base felt the grief when he passed away in 2013.
After her father’s death, Jeanie Buss and her other siblings were thrown into a legal fight for who would get controlling ownership of the team. Finally, in 2017 they reached an agreement with her brothers that allowed Jeanie to serve as controlling owner for the rest of her life.
Jeanie has sacrificed her family ties and made bold decisions to get the Lakers organization back on track. This includes firing her brother from his vice president position with the team and replacing the long time general manager (nba.com). While this happened in 2017, this was a pivotal point in getting the Lakers organization back on track.
Jeanie is the only woman to own an NBA team outright, with the other two women owners as part of groups (popsugar.com). Being in a male dominated business, there was a lot of doubt surrounding Jeanie’s ability to lead the team. This 2020 championship proved to everyone that Jeanie trusted her instincts and made the right moves to get the Lakers back to a championship team.
Hopefully, more women will get into NBA leadership roles and follow in Jeanie’s footsteps. From the change in management in 2017 to the recruitment of LeBron James, Jeanie worked hard to get the Lakers in the position they are in today. This is someone who can be a role model for not only other women but for anyone who respects a bold leader (regardless of gender).
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