Los Angeles Lakers president and governor Jeanie Buss said Thursday that she has the final say in the operations and decisions with the organization.
“I’m the boss,” Jeanie Buss said in an interview on the “Mason and Ireland” show on ESPNLA 710 radio Thursday, via ESPN.com. “I am responsible ultimately for anything with the team and decisions that are made.
“In my position, I empower people that are in positions to do their jobs. [Executive vice president of player personnel] Jim Buss and [general manager] Mitch Kupchak are responsible for all basketball decisions. They are empowered to do that. My job is to make sure, as a boss, that I provide them the tools to do the job successfully. But it’s up to them to make the day-to-day decisions on how they operate their area of the business.”
The “final hammer” lies with her now.
“In my position, I can make changes,” she said. “I can make changes across the entire organization. If John Ireland doesn’t do his job, in his radio broadcast play-by-play, then we would make that change.
“If the Laker Girls drop down in caliber and couldn’t do a dance number, then we’d make changes there. I think you should have that same confidence in our entire organization, including basketball.”
However on major decisions, Buss prefers to “build consensus” among the other Buss siblings, who own the team in trust and are the majority owners.
“When it comes to major decisions in any area of the organization, I like to the get the blessings of the shareholders — of which my siblings are the majority — and build a consensus even if it isn’t something that all of them agree on,” Buss said. “I like to build a consensus and work as a team.”
Buss would have liked to hire her fiancée and former coach Phil Jackson, but the other six siblings did not see a role for him in the organization.
“I think people need to understand: It isn’t just Phil. They don’t need anybody else. Everything is covered,” Buss said. “There is no additional need for anybody to come in. Jimmy and Mitch have a like mind in how they see the game and what they want to accomplish with this team and they have it under control. They don’t need another voice, whether that’s Phil or whoever. It isn’t about Phil; they don’t need another voice, they’ve got it covered. I understand that and I respect that and I’m happy for them.”
Buss said the NBA has asked her and Jackson to sign a document dealing with conflicts of interests.
“There’s a document that we have to sign that deals with conflicts of interest,” she said. “I don’t think there’s been a couple like this — there’s been brothers, the Paxson brothers running two different teams, the Colangelos — father and son, running two different teams, so it’s not that unusual. But I understand, I’ll sign it — I don’t see any problem going forward.”