Report: Jeanie Buss planned to offer Kobe Bryant a ‘hands-on’ front office role

Brad Sullivan
2 Min Read

Prior to Kobe Bryant’s tragic death in January of 2020, the Los Angeles Lakers icon was reportedly in line for a key position in the team’s front office.

The Athletic’s Sam Amick and Bill Oram explained that Jeanie Buss had plans to offer Bryant a “hands-on” role with the organization.

“Had Bryant not passed away in that horrific helicopter accident on Jan. 26, 2020, Buss had plans of offering him a hands-on role in the front office in the near future,” Amick and Oram wrote. “He had already made a significant impact on the franchise in retirement, compelling Jeanie to fire her brother Jim from his front office position during a Feb. 2017 lunch in Newport Beach. The path to landing LeBron [James], Bryant had said back then, included Jeanie channeling her inner Daenerys Targaryen — the ‘Mother of Dragons’ from Game of Thrones — and making the tough decisions as part of the preparation for James’ free agency.”

James landed with the Lakers in 2018. His first season with the team was somewhat of a disappointment.

However, the 2019-20 campaign ended with the Lakers capturing their first NBA title in a decade. James was central to that championship run, winning his fourth Finals MVP after the Lakers won the title in October of 2020.

Sadly, Bryant wasn’t around to witness that achievement. Despite the gaping hole left by his death, Buss has continued to honor his legacy.

Exactly what role Bryant would have had in L.A.’s front office is uncertain, but it seems likely that he would have made a big impact.

Former players have worked in L.A.’s front office before. Magic Johnson, for instance, spent time as the team’s president of basketball operations. Johnson also played a key role in recruiting James to L.A., but he abruptly resigned from his position in April of 2019.

Bryant’s basketball knowledge and desire to win would have offered the Lakers some very valuable things in their front office.

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Brad is a freelance writer for, 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.