Mike Brown (basketball)

The most powerful woman in sports controls the Los Angeles Lakers

The most powerful woman in sports controls the Los Angeles Lakers

Jerry Buss often worried about his older daughter’s happiness, like many fathers do, so when he considered promoting her to run the Great Western Forum, he thought of the toll such a demanding job would take. “I don’t know if that’s a good life for her,” he told a confidant.

What he didn’t realize then, but learned over the next 15 years, was that nothing mattered more to Jeanie Buss than the family business — than her father’s legacy. She was happiest when she was working to safeguard both. Over and over, she chose those over personal milestones.

Now, 20 years after the fatherly fretting, she is the most powerful woman in sports. She is also one of the most powerful people in...

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