Behind The Scenes Look At The Lakers Front Office Soap Opera (Videos)
Tuesday, the Los Angeles Lakers made a series of very bold moves, when team president/governor Jeanie Buss fired her brother Jim Buss, along with longtime general manager Mitch Kupchak. Lakers icon Magic Johnson has been named the new president of basketball operations.
Jim Buss had served as LA’s executive vice president of basketball operations/alternate governor since 2005. He had worked as Lakers assistant general manager prior to his ’05 promotion.
Since the passing of legendary Lakers owner Jerry Buss in 2013, Jeanie and Jim have led a family trust that now collectively owns the iconic franchise. Jim will retain his ownership stake, despite his removal from the front office.
While Jeanie has overseen ongoing growth on the business side of the operation, Jim has led the team during what is widely considered the worst stretch of on court performance in club history. In fact, when the Lakers miss the playoffs for the fourth year in a row this season (team currently 14th in the West), it will tie the amount of times the team had missed the postseason in the 53 years prior to 2013-2014.
After a 10-year playing career with LA and Washington, Kupchak worked in the Lakers front office for 30 years, with the last 17 being spent in the general manager position. As both a player and executive, Kupchak was a part of nine Lakers championship teams, including earning seven rings while working as an executive.
Over the years, iFolloSports.com has provided a behind the scenes look at the principal characters of this Hollywood drama. Below is a sampling of the up close original videos we have gathered.
Jeanie Buss exiting the Toyota Sports Center (Lakers HQ) parking lot.
Magic Johnson and wife Cookie entering the Jerry Buss memorial in downtown LA.
Jim Buss at Las Vegas NBA Summer League.
Mitch Kupchak at Las Vegas NBA Summer League.