‘I think it’s possible the Buss family could sell part of the Lakers at some point’: NBA insider offers his take

Brad Sullivan
4 Min Read

Even though there’s no indication that any part of the Los Angeles Lakers will be sold anytime soon, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst believes that the Buss family may have to consider it in the future.

On his podcast “Brian Windhorst & The Hoop Collective” (h/t SB Nation), Windhorst indicated that criticism of the Buss family’s leadership of the Lakers and the expected sale of the Phoenix Suns may change the minds of Buss family members.

“I think it’s possible the Buss family could sell part of the Lakers at some point,” Windhorst said. “You know they own two-thirds of the Lakers. I could see them selling part of the Lakers someday. … Let’s say [the Suns] sell for $3.5 (billion). What do you think the Lakers would be worth in that environment? I mean, $5 to $6 (billion). And to be honest with you, like if I were Jeanie Buss, I wouldn’t even accept a phone call to pitch me, even to buy a percentage of the team, for less than $6 billion.”

The late Dr. Jerry Buss purchased the Lakers in 1979, beginning an unparalleled run of success for the franchise. During his time as Lakers’ owner, the franchise won 10 NBA titles.

Dr. Buss died in 2013, with his children inheriting the franchise. His daughter Jeanie became CEO and controlling owner, with the team struggling until capturing the NBA title during the interrupted 2019-20 season.

That championship appeared to put the Lakers back in the category of perennial contenders. Instead, injuries and other issues resulted in a quick postseason exit in 2021 and a failure to even reach the playoffs last season.

Given that lack of success, the younger Buss has been on the receiving end of criticism for the team’s floundering.

Some of the recent decisions made by the front office have been financially oriented. Specifically, the unwillingness to pay more in luxury tax to acquire better players.

The Lakers have started the 2022-23 season with a 2-8 record, with the team currently in the midst of a three-game losing streak. That embarrassing beginning reached another low point during Monday night’s 139-116 road loss to the Utah Jazz.

On their home court this season, the Lakers have a 2-4 record, losing each of their last two games at Crypto.com Arena by double digits.

The team’s woeful start comes despite having two healthy superstars in the starting lineup, LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Their injury problems the last two seasons had been major reasons for the Lakers’ struggling, though it’s clear that other problems remain.

On Wednesday night, the Lakers will technically be the road team for a game at Crypto.com Arena against the Los Angeles Clippers. Following that, a four-game homestand begins with the Buss family hoping that things change for the better soon.

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Brad is a freelance writer for LakersDaily.com, who can clearly recall watching Lakers games in 1972 as they captured the first of their 11 Los Angeles-based titles. The franchise's evolution into a beloved and iconic franchise among its fan base since that memorable year allows for a wider perspective to be a part of his writing about the team's current fortunes.