10:02pm CST: Jim and Johnny Buss’ lawyer, Robert Sacks, told Ramona Shelburne of ESPN that they were never trying to oust Jeanie as controlling owner. To the contrary, Sacks says, Jim and Johnny have informed Jeanie “orally and in writing” that they support her as the controlling owner of the Lakers (Twitter links). Sacks added “I can tell you, Jim Buss and Johnny Buss, as co-trustees, who vote shares in the Lakers, support Jeanie as the controlling owner.” (Twitter link)
5:29pm CST: Jeanie Buss has thwarted initial attempts from her brothers, Jim and Johnny, at a takeover of franchise control, according to a report from Nathan Fenno and Bill Plaschke of the L.A. Times (article link). Jeanie Buss’ attorneys sought a temporary restraining order Friday to prevent the brothers from holding a meeting to elect a new board of directors.
According to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN, Jeanie Buss’ restraining order alleged that Jim and Johnny “were acting in breach of their fiduciary duties as trustees.” Jeanie’s lawyers pushed for a trial to resolve the matter, and a court date has been set for May 15 (Twitter links).
On February 21, Jim Buss was relieved of his duties as executive VP of basketball operations, being replaced by Magic Johnson. At the time, Jeanie Buss announced “Today I took a series of actions I believe will return the Lakers to the heights Dr. Jerry Buss demanded and our fans rightly expect. Together, Earvin, Luke and our new General Manager will establish the foundation for the next generation of Los Angeles Lakers greatness.”
Johnny Buss remains the head of corporate development for the Lakers, and- per Fenno and Plaschke- notified Jeanie of his intent to elect a new board of directors three days ago. Jeanie Buss’ lawyer, Adam Streisand, delivered a statement in response to the attempted coup.
“This is no doubt the beginning and not the end of the game-playing,” Streisand said. “They don’t have a legal leg to stand on. This is a legal strategy doomed for failure.”