If you had to pick any childhood as an NBA fan, you’d have to go with Jeanie Buss. Your dad owns the Lakers, and you get to hang around all the best NBA players for several decades. Not just that, but it gives you a chance to develop a career, and you get to learn about superstars from a very early age. What do I mean by early?
When she was 18 years old, the Lakers’ latest draft pick was visiting the house. Her father, Dr. Jerry Buss, had some things to wrap up so he asked Jeanie to keep the guest company when he arrives until her father could join the conversation (via The Lowe Post)
“So that’s what I did, and when I opened the door, that was the first time I’d ever met Magic and that smile that he has just bowled me over. I’d watch the NCAA tournament, and I’d seen him but I never met him.”
Imagine that, being 18 years old and you are hanging out with Magic while your dad, his boss, finishes some work upstairs. So you offer him a glass of water and what then? Well, things got more interesting (via The Lowe Post).
“So we sat down in the living room, and he started saying, “I’m really happy to be drafted by the Lakers, but in three years I’m gonna go and I want to play for my hometown team,” which is the Pistons. I was like, “wait, that’s not what my dad told me.” so I excused myself, ran upstairs, and said, “you’re not gonna believe what Magic just said!” My dad didn’t miss a beat, and he said, “Jeanie, the first time he puts on a Laker uniform and steps out on the floor at the Forum, he’s never gonna leave.” and he never did.”
Who’d thought that would be the first lesson in running a team with a superstar. Jeanie is now the managing owner and Magic was her choice for the President of Basketball Operations. We all know how that ended, but understanding their history explains why Jeannie trusted Magic so much and how come the Lakers believe in the allure of the Laker jersey.
P.S. Kobe almost going to Detroit, Blake being traded there, Magic wanting to play for his hometown….this Detroit – LA thing has something to it, doesn’t it?