Latest On Lakers’ Buss Family Legal Battle

Less than a month after reports indicated that Jeanie Buss had thwarted an attempt by her brothers to take over control of the Lakers, the team’s controlling owner won another victory that will ensure he holds her position atop the franchise’s hierarchy.

As Nathan Fenno of The Los Angeles Times reports, Jeanie Buss and her brothers, Jim and Johnny, have agreed for Jeanie to serve as the club’s controlling owner and head of the board of directors as long as the family owns the Lakers. As part of a legal agreement, Jim Buss – who had been involved in Lakers roster decisions up until he was displaced from that role last month – has agreed to resign as a co-trustee for the four trusts through which the Buss family owns 66% of the franchise.

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Jim Buss will continue to serve as one of the Lakers’ co-owners, but did not receive any sort of financial settlement in exchange for resigning as a co-trustee. Another Buss sibling, Janie, has replaced Jim in that role, joining Jeanie and Johnny Buss as co-trustees, per Fenno.

“Jeanie is captain of the ship,” Janie Buss told ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne. “My sister is the one who finally played her aces. I’m just behind her. I’ve always been behind her. Now she can focus on where the Lakers need to go. … This is a new beginning for us as a team. Now we don’t need to worry about this family stuff. We can focus on the Lakers now.”

Jeanie Buss’s attorney, Adam Streisand, spoke to Fenno and conveyed a similar message regarding the Lakers’ controlling owner: “The message is clear here: Do not underestimate Jeanie Buss. There is not going to be a palace coup. Not now. Not ever.”

A court date had been set for May 15 when it appeared that the family would wage a legal battle, but now that an agreement has been reached, that court date has been scrapped.

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