Jeanie Buss and her lawyers thwarted a move by brothers Jim Buss and Johnny Buss to take over the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday. The brothers essentially attempted a hostile takeover of the franchise but were blocked from doing so in a move that could have long-term ramifications for the franchise and the family.
The Los Angeles Times explains what happened:
Attorneys for Jeanie Buss sought a temporary restraining order in Los Angeles County Superior Court on Friday to prevent the brothers from holding a meeting next week to elect a new board of directors for the team. The brothers proposed four directors, according to court records, but didn’t include her. In order to be the controlling owner, she has to be a director.
After Buss and her lawyers sought the restraining order, the brothers withdrew the request for a meeting, which in turn led to her lawyers withdrawing the motion for the restraining order.
Jeanie Buss removed her brother Jim from his position as the team’s vice president of basketball operations two weeks ago and named Magic Johnson the Lakers president of basketball operations. Meanwhile, Johnny Buss still oversees corporate development for the franchise. The court documents claim the move by the brothers is “motivated by retaliation.
Jeanie Buss took over control of the franchise when her father, Jerry Buss, passed away in 2013.
The Times, again, explains the importance of the team’s board to the family:
The family trust that controls the team can elect three of the board’s five members. It mandates that the co-trustees — Johnny and Jim — take all actions to ensure Jeanie Buss remains controlling owner of the Lakers.
So the brothers are mandated to ensure that Jeanie remains the controlling owner no matter what. That really throws a cog into their plans to take over. I’d assume they couldn’t get around that unless they can somehow prove she’s doing irreparable harm to the business.
Thanksgiving is certainly going to be awkward at the Buss household this year.