New K Bros Land O' Lakers Podkast: Jeanie Buss

March, 4, 2010
3/04/10
1:27
AM PT
Kamenetzky By Andy Kamenetzky
ESPNLosAngeles.com
Archive
Some guests are awesome enough to merit an entire segment. Lakers Executive Vice President of Business Operations Jeanie Buss qualifies as such. She was kind enough to join us for an extended conversation (and I emphasize "kind," since our first crack at this resulted in a computer glitch and an entire show lost in the matrix). Few stones were left unturned while tackling a wide variety of topics.
PODCAST
Andy and Brian have an extended conversation with Lakers Executive Vice President of Business Operations (and Twitter giant) Jeanie Buss. Topics include Buss family dynamics (more tranquil than often reported), her relationship with Phil Jackson and the never-ending pleasure felt in beating the Celtics.

Podcast Listen
-(3:40): After lamenting our lost interview, we discuss Dr. Buss' unwillingness to sell the Lakers for a billion dollars. This isn't hyperbole, FYI. Dude actually turned down a billion bucks. Despite that back story, Jeanie doesn't feel much pressure about the keys eventually being turned over to her and her brother Jim.

-(7:12): The Buss family is as high profile a clan as L.A. offers. What's it like having your private and professional life play out in public? From Jeanie's perspective, not too bad, save when the media embellishes or fabricates stories, which she maintains is the case with a buzzed-about Hoopshype.com piece by Roland Lazenby.

The respected author of "Jerry West: The Life and Legend of a Basketball Icon" and "Mindgames: Phil Jackson's Long Strange Journey" claims the family is divided in their support of Jackson, which could come to a boil this offseason when Phil is potentially retained or cut loose. Jeanie concedes past tension in regards to Phil, but insists this hasn't been an issue during the second tour of duty and any concerns this will affect his unresolved contract status are overblown.

"It's like a rehash of 2005. What happened was, Phil got to come back and it's on completely different terms than when he left in 2004. But (the family dynamic) was an interesting part of the drama, so I can see where it's convenient to bring it all up again. Roland Lazenby wrote a book about Phil when Phil was still coaching the Bulls called 'Mind Games.' It's like he took stuff from that book from over ten years ago and he's trying to rehash that part. Like Phil has this thing that he's got to destroy the team that he's leaving. That any issues that the Bulls have had in the last ten years in because of Phil, which is just crazy."

UPDATE: Lazenby's official statement to Buss' comments can be read here.

-(12:45): Jeanie discusses her relationship with Phil, their very different personalities, and her father's reaction to his daughter dating the coach. She also provides the show's single best line when describing how she hadn't exactly been pining for The Zen Master from afar before he was hired.

"He wasn't anybody when I watched him coach the Bulls that I went, 'Hey, there's a hot dude!'"

-(18:06): In anticipation of our upcoming discussion with author/longtime Los Angeles Times writer Steve Springer and Ezra Edelman, director and producer of the HBO Documentary, "Magic & Bird: A Courtship of Rivals, we asked Jeanie about her memories of Lakers-Celtics in the 80's. At this point, she wasn't an exec, just a rabid fan learning to relish wins over the Green.

Her future boyfriend shares this perspective, as Jeanie recounts during a funny story about accompanying an increasingly grumpy Jackson to his Hall of Fame induction. She finally asked what the problem was, and PJ sarcastically noted Springfield "may as well be an alumni center for the Boston Celtics."

Lest we forget, the Knicks and Celtics weren't exactly tight in during Phil's days in New York.

-(25:45): A discussion about how the economy has affected the Lakers.

-(30:57): Having already discussed it on a previous Podkast, we get insight from the horse's mouth on a brilliant plan to overhaul the All-Star Game. We do, however, object to one of Jeanie's caveats.

-(36:20): Before taking off, Jeanie asks our advice on "spoiler etiquette" for Tweets and we talk "only in L.A." moments.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Nick Young
PTS AST STL MIN
17.9 1.5 0.7 28.3
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsJ. Hill 7.4
AssistsK. Bryant 6.3
StealsK. Bryant 1.2
BlocksW. Johnson 1.0