Here are ten interesting facts about a man who was amongst the best the business has ever seen.
1.) Buss bought the Lakers, along the Los Angeles Kings Hockey team, The Forum, and a large ranch in Kern County, from Jack Kent Cooke in 1979 for $67.5 million. The team itself is now worth $1 billion.
2.) The Laker Girls was his idea.
3.) He has six children, who all have roles within the Lakers organization. Their names are Jim, Jeannie, Johnny, Joey, Jesse and Janie. Jim currently runs basketball operations and daughter, Jeannie, runs business operations.
4.) His daughter, Jeannie, is currently engaged to Hall of Fame coach and former player, Phil Jackson. And apparently, Jim Buss hasn’t spoken to Jeannie since their engagement.
5.) Buss was an avid poker player, appearing on the shows High Stakes Poker and Poker After Dark. He placed third in the 1991 World Series of Poker seven-card stud event.
6.) Buss is incredibly smart. In high school he was entrusted to teach his chemistry class senior year. He got his Bachelors degree from the University of Wyoming in 2.5 years, reportedly borrowing his friends books at the beginning of the semester because he didn’t have enough money to buy his own. He would read the books, and return them halfway through the semester, with enough knowledge to pass the final exams.
7.) He has a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Southern California and worked in aerospace and real estate before becoming Lakers owner.
8.) He was raised in poverty in Wyoming. He first came to LA when he was 9, but moved back to Wyoming after his mother remarried. There he worked as a ditch-digger, a bellhop and a shoe shiner.
9.) Under his ownership the Lakers won 10 Championships; and have seen the likes of Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, James Worthy, Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant, and Dwight Howard, to name a few.
10.) There are many other interesting facts about Jerry Buss but my all-time favorite is this: Buss told ESPN in 2010 that he texted each of his six children every month the following question: “Do you have any idea how proud of you I am?”
In the words of Kobe Bryant, “His impact is felt worldwide.”
I couldn’t agree more.
NBA All Star Weekend explodes with drama as Lil Wayne continues his theatrics revolving around his recent ejection from the Lakers vs. Heat game last week. Weezy showed up at All Star weekend in Houston and proceeded to talk a lot of trash about the NBA, the Miami Heat, and specifically claiming to have had sex with Chris Bosh’s wife.
He of course confronted Bosh, LeBron, and DWade the only way a 5 ft. rapper know how, talking to an audience on stage surrounded by his crew with no Miami Heat players in sight.
Lil Wayne is known for being a huge NBA fan, but rumors have leaked out that David Stern was not amused by Weezy’s most recent outburst over All Star Weekend. Weezy blasted the NBA to an arena of fans claimed to have slept with Chris Bosh’s wife and then got everyone chanting how the Miami Heat, Dwade, and LeBron suck.
Stern had already temporarily banned Lil Wayne from NBA games following his gun gesture during the Lakers vs. Heat game last week. Now, sources claim Stern is prepared to ban Lil Wayne from all NBA games and officially sanctioned functions for life.
Well, I guess we know who’s not getting back stage passes to the next Lil Wayne concert. That’s right Mr. Stern. You are just going to have to find your hip hop music elsewhere.
The National Basketball Players Association announced Friday that embattled union chief Billy Hunter has been placed on indefinite leave of absence.
Longtime union lawyer Ron Klempner was appointed acting executive director of the union until every member of the union “can have a vote in the matter,” the NBPA said.
Hunter was notified of the decision Friday morning, sources said.
“This organization has been disrupted and we will no longer tolerate it. Immediate action was necessary and taken to protect you,” union president Derek Fisher said in a memo circulated to players Friday.
Hunter’s attorney responded that the actions weren’t allowable under NBPA rules, setting up the possibility of a Hunter fight to keep his job.
The NBPA announced that it has formed an interim executive committee and advisory committee “to move the organization forward” in the wake of a damaging report by the independent firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, which was hired to look into the union’s business practices under Hunter’s leadership. The interim executive committee will consist of the five active members of the most recent executive board, according to union bylaws.
The report last month found no evidence of illegal use of union funds, but revealed that Hunter withheld knowledge that his contract was never properly approved, used poor judgment with his hiring practices and spent improperly on travel and gifts.
The NBPA also will hire outside lawyers to assist it leading into a pivotal set of meetings scheduled for All-Star Weekend in Houston later this month and will consider moving meetings to a different date on the calendar to “ensure that all players will have the best chance to attend without conflict.”
Hunter’s attorney, Thomas Ashley, said his client had been treated unfairly and already had taken steps to improve the union.
“I am deeply troubled by the lack of fundamental fairness shown my client by a group whose authority to take such action is highly questionable. The act of placing my client on administrative leave is not supported in either the constitution or bylaws of the NBPA,” Ashley said. “Furthermore, Mr. Hunter was not given any opportunity to respond to the Paul, Weiss report prior to the time that a decision was made to place him on administrative leave.”
Hunter has headed the union since 1996. The review was sought in part by Fisher, who clashed with Hunter during and after the NBA lockout that lasted from July 2011 to November 2011.
Agents were angry with Hunter’s strategies, though he has remained popular and respected by many players.
Because Hunter’s contract — worth $3 million a year, signed in 2010 and was to run through either 2015 or 2017 — was never properly approved, the report found that players were under no obligation to keep him.
According to the report, Hunter was aware by at least November 2011 that the executive committee and player representatives had not approved the deal according to union bylaws.
In a statement released Friday, Fisher said that because of the ongoing investigations being conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. attorney’s office, players wanted the executive committee to take steps to protect them.
“Unfortunately, it appears that union management has lost sight of the NBPA’s only task, to serve the best interests of their membership. This is the reason I called for a review almost a year ago,” Fisher said. “The findings of that review confirm this unfortunate truth and we must now move forward as players. Immediate change is necessary and I, along with the committee members, are committed to driving the process as difficult as it may be.”
The report cited areas where Hunter should have known better, particularly when it came to hiring family members.
The union either employed or worked with many people who had ties to Hunter, who hired his daughter and nephew, permitted a daughter-in-law to remain on staff, and spent more than $80,000 of union funds to evaluate an investment in a banking firm that employed his son.
“No matter the explanation, when viewed collectively, his choices created the appearance that he operated the union in part for the benefit of his family and friends,” the report said.
“The appearance of favoritism has damaged the union. Mr. Hunter’s pattern of involving friends and family in union business contributed to a deep rift among the NBPA staff.”
Hunter fired his daughter and daughter-in-law less than two weeks after the report came out.
The report also found that Hunter spent more than $100,000 of union funds to purchase gifts for executive committee members, including a $22,000 watch for Fisher in June 2010, and that he made “questionable choices” when charging travel expenses to the NBPA.
The investigation began in April 2012 and included reviews of documents, financial records and NBPA emails, along with interviews of more than three dozen witnesses. It questioned a payment he received for unused vacation time and the way he filed travel expenses, but couldn’t prove they were illegal.