Buss family feud brewing over control of Lakers

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Two weeks after Jeanie Buss fired her brother Jim from the Lakers and hired Magic Johnson, a legal battle is brewing over control of the team. (KABC)

Two weeks after Jeanie Buss fired her brother Jim from his position with the Lakers, a legal battle is brewing over which family members will ultimately control the team.

Jeanie Buss has been the controlling owner of the NBA franchise since her father Jerry - who bought the Lakers in 1979 - died in 2013.

But this week her brothers Jim and Johnny moved to oust her from that position. They called a meeting for next week to vote on a new board of directors and offered four proposed members that included themselves, but not Jeanie.

If Jeanie is not on the board of directors, she can't be a controlling owner of the team.

On Friday, Jennie filed in court to obtain a temporary restraining order blocking next week's meeting. In response, her brothers dropped their request to hold the meeting.

"Jimmy and Johnny attempted to take control of the board," said attorney Adam Streisand, who represents Jeanie Buss, in an interview with Eyewitness News. "By doing that, that would have the effect of ousting Jeanie as controlling owner of the Lakers.

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Jeanie Buss and her brother Jim, pictured in happier times, are now feuding over control of the Lakers.



When Jerry Buss died, he had a family trust in place that said specifically the brothers would do everything in their power to maintain Jeanie as the controlling owner.

Legal analysts say in order for the brothers to succeed in ousting Jeanie, they would have to demonstrate to a court that Jeanie's management has put the value of the company and its brand at risk.

In the two seasons after Jerry Buss' death, the Lakers had a combined record of 48-116. They are currently 19-42.

Jim Buss had been serving as executive vice president of basketball operations for more than a decade, but with the team's losing record in recent years, Jeanie Buss installed a management shakeup last month, bringing in Magic Johnson as president of basketball operations and removing her brother.

"Jeanie's family is the LA Lakers and the LA fans and I'm sure that's what she's focused on," Streisand said.
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