Reiter: Jeanie Buss In Over Her Head, Turning Lakers Into Browns

Jeanie Buss is a good person, Bill Reiter says, but her decision-making has turned the Lakers into "a dysfunctional mess"

The DA Show
May 29, 2019 - 2:30 pm

It’s been a rough year for the Lakers. From Magic Johnson to Rob Pelinka, from Luke Walton to Frank Vogel, from LeBron James to Anthony Davis, there have been a lot of embarrassing moments for this storied franchise.

But what about Jeanie Buss? Doesn’t she deserve some blame for this? Is she in over her head as Lakers owner?

“Yeah, and I know Jeanie and I like her and she is a great human being,” CBS Sports Radio host Bill Reiter said on The DA Show. “But yes, she is. Owners have the benefit of getting a long-term run to sort of figure it out. They’re not players. Age doesn’t affect their ability to do the job, so they get a longer learning curve. But she is so over her head. She is so enthralled with trying to run the Lakers organization theoretically like her dad did as a family, which you can’t do in 2019.”

The Lakers, who reached the NBA Finals seven times in 11 seasons from 1999 to 2010, have missed the playoffs six years in a row.

“She is over her head, and she is slowly tuning this organization into the Browns of the NBA, which is really unfortunate – not just for Lakers fans, but for Jeanie Buss,” Reiter said. “I’ve talked to her about it. Her life’s mission – she didn’t have kids, she didn’t have a family, she wanted the Lakers to be her family – and she is turning that family into a dysfunctional mess because of her decision-making.”

D.A., in fact, has heard that Buss is a good person, but is it possible that she’s too nice? And perhaps hires people she thinks she can trust but really can’t?

“Yeah, I think when you’re an average person and you’re super kind and you’re a little naive, that’s sweet,” Reiter said. “I think when you’re in a high-power position like owning the Lakers and you have that personality and you entrust people who pretend to be your friends – Magic Johnson, Rob Pelinka, Kobe Bryant – the list goes on and on. People around her that are sycophantic, whose goal is really to be at the trough and to take in the glory of the purple and gold. It makes you weak, it makes you short-sighted, it makes you bad at your job. 

“But it’s not just kindness,” Reiter continued. “She’s kind, but she also believes completely that this organization is a family and that that’s what makes it special and that everyone that she’s ever known who’s a Laker loved her because she was a part of the Lakers organization and they were too, not realizing that most of these people – Kobe Bryant, Magic Johnson, Rob Pelinka, all these folks – they weren’t born as daddy’s little boy or little girl into a whole bunch of money and the princess, in this case, of the future kingdom that is the Lakers. They had to fight and grind and have talent to get there, and they see the world in much more cutthroat terms than she does.”