Lakers’ President Jeanie Buss Talks Lonzo, LaVar & Magic

It’s been about eight months since Lakers’ controlling owner and President Jeanie Buss took full control of the storied franchise. A lot has happened since then, including snagging  Lonzo Ball in the draft- and his father LaVar by default – plus the hiring of the Showtime era legend Magic Johnson. This week at the espnW Women + Sports Summit, Jeanie shared her experience as one of the most powerful women in sports, plus her thoughts on Lonzo, LaVar and Magic.

On drafting LA area native Lonzo Ball:

I can’t remember anybody with more hype going into the draft except for Magic Johnson. Now we have a kid, born and raised in Los Angeles, and that’s exciting for our fans, and for us, to know that we have someone that really represents the city. It seemed like I was watching a movie. It was really special and a great opportunity for him and us.

Her thoughts on Lavar Ball:

The day of the press conference after the draft, we flew them back to LA so I got to meet him in my office face to face. He’s a dad who loves his children, and I have to admire that. It’s a joy to work with him and his family. But I won’t be wearing Big Baller Brand because I have to stay neutral.

Jeanie and Magic Johnson have been close since the Lakers drafted him. Their relationship is like that of brother and sister. She discussed why it was a no-brainer to bring Magic into an executive position with the Lakers

My dad always thought that Earvin and I would run the team together some day. It was just kind of fitting that he and I would come back together. We speak the same language because we were kind of raised by the same man. We are of like mind.

Jeanie wasn’t the only sports’ exec discussing taking over the family business. WWE Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon also weighed in on the topic of being a boss in a traditionally male dominated industry.

I never saw gender as a barrier, and I think it’s so important that women have those roles. I saw my mom as a CEO and never thought there wasn’t an opportunity to be a CEO. I always saw myself working in the family business, but I didn’t know how. I started as an Account Executive in the sales office, and I was way too passionate about our business.  That’s when I fell in love with the creative. I then spent three months in my mom’s office— I know it was a privilege, and I was able to ask all of the questions I  wanted. I later transitioned to the writing team and took it from 2 people to 12 and went on to be the first woman to launch our digital department.



photos and videos courtesy of espnW