Buss brothers agree to new board of directors for Lakers, with Jeanie Buss on it

Buss brothers agree to new board of directors for Lakers
Lakers President Jeanie Buss attends the NBA basketball game between the Lakers and the 76ers on March 12 at Staples Center.
(Danny Moloshok / Associated Press)

The struggle between Jeanie Buss and her brothers, Jim and Johnny, for control of the Lakers has moved toward resolution.

The brothers signed a two-page consent agreement earlier this week to waive the team’s annual shareholders meeting and elect their sister and four others to the board of directors, according to documents filed Friday in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

This means Jeanie Buss, the Lakers president, will remain the team’s controlling owner until at least the next shareholders meeting in December.

Joey Buss, the second-youngest of the six Buss siblings who is president of the team’s NBA Development League affiliate, Johnny Buss, AEG President Dan Beckerman and Lakers Executive Vice President Francis Mariani were also selected as directors.


In the filing, Jeanie Buss’ attorneys asked for a court order to mandate the brothers “take all actions reasonably available to them” in order to ensure she is elected as a director and the controlling owner each year for the remainder of her life.

“Such relief is necessary and proper to ensure that Johnny and Jim continue to comply with the express mandate of the Trust on a going forward basis without future court intervention,” the filing said.

Three days after she named Magic Johnson president of basketball operations and reassigned Jim Buss last month as part of a front-office shakeup, the brothers called a shareholders meeting. They proposed four directors for five spots: themselves, Beckerman and investor Romie Chaudhari. Their sister wasn’t among them.

In order to be the controlling owner — a role the four trusts through which the Buss family owns 66% of the Lakers require her to fill — she has to also serve as a director.


The three siblings are the co-trustees of the trusts.

Jeanie Buss sought a temporary restraining order this month to prevent the meeting, then withdrew the request after the brothers postponed the meeting and signed a document reelecting her as controlling owner. Her attorneys contended the brothers breached the trusts by not supporting her selection as a director.

“Without the relief requested … there would be nothing to prevent Jim and Johnny from taking the exact same actions in the future,” the filing said.

In a declaration, Jeanie Buss said Jim Buss was “completely unfit” for his previous job as executive vice president of basketball operations for the Lakers and she expressed concern for the franchise’s future if the brothers took control.

A probate court trial in the matter is scheduled for May 15.

Follow Nathan Fenno on Twitter @nathanfenno



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