The Los Angeles Lakers have been the subject of well-deserved scrutiny over the course of the last year. As the team continues to look for its direction, owner Jeanie Buss is starting to receive a larger share of the blame than ever before.
It appears as though that criticism is not just coming from the outside. The LA Times’ Bill Plaschke appeared on the Dan Patrick Show on Monday and spoke about the pressure from the Lakers’ minority owners and partners on Buss:
“There’s a lot of rumblings from the AEG’s of the world and some of the partners. I think they’re going to wait to see what happens this summer. But obviously, she’s never going to sell, herself. Don’t forget, she took over the team in a coup from her brothers. So the team can be taken over in a coup. I don’t see that happening until at least they see what happens this summer and see what happens next year. People are upset. The real money-movers and shakers and money people, those are the people who are quietly protesting and they’re upset. She has this summer to figure this out and next season. And if they don’t make the playoffs again, I think that becomes a reality.”
It should be noted that Plaschke is not exactly a news breaker and, in ordinary conditions, we would usually not aggregate something he reports on the team. However, this would be a significant development, if true, given all the recent criticism heaped on Buss and her management group of Kurt and Linda Rambis and Rob Pelinka.
The Lakers ownership group consists of the following parties: the Buss Family Trusts, Philip Anschutz (who owns the aforementioned AEG), Edward P. Roski and Patrick Soon-Shiong. Soon-Shiong also owns the LA Times, Plaschke’s employer. The Buss Family owns 66 percent of the team, with each of six children holding an equal share.
It seems as though Jeanie Buss will get one more season to turn the Lakers around before the smoke within the organization turns into an inferno. If the other owners feel as though the team’s brand (and by proxy, their money) is taking a hit, then it would not be difficult to see them staging a coup just as Buss did to her brother Jim.