Jeanie Buss Has Supreme Power to Change the Lakers—What Will She Do? And When?

LOS ANGELES — Upon her father's death a year ago, Jeanie Buss was given the power.

The question is: When will she use it?

NBA commissioner Adam Silver, his own gavel shiny and new in hand, dined with Buss in Los Angeles Monday night and gave her a pointed message, according to NBA sources:

The power is hers to use, and those in the league office want and trust her to be more aggressive with it in leading the Los Angeles Lakers.

In the days after the dinner, Buss appeared for rare, extended interviews with the Lakers’ TV and radio partners. The spots were not specifically at Silver’s behest; Buss decided on her own to do them to clarify matters after fiance Phil Jackson’s official departure from the Lakers’ family to run the New York Knicks, who face the Lakers on Tuesday at Staples Center.

Yet the content and tenor of those interviews was absolutely dictated to some extent by Silver’s advice that the Lakers, in order to remain an elite NBA franchise, need Jeanie Buss to step forward as their clear leader.

Buss’ pronouncements on ESPN 710 radio made her leadership clearer than even the formal titles in the team directory that show Jeanie Buss as team president and governor compared to brother Jim as executive vice president and alternate governor.

“I am the one voice,” Jeanie said. “I’m at the top of the food chain.”

Jeanie specifically declared that she has the clout to change the basketball operations department, which her father, Jerry, planned for Jim to oversee.

“I give them the authority from my position as president and governor to put together our basketball program and personnel,” Jeanie said on Time Warner Cable SportsNet.

She was even more explicit about that authority over Jim in the radio spot, saying, “In his job, he reports to me.&rd...

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