‘Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty‘ follows Jerry Buss, the owner of the LA Lakers, as he tries to steer the newly acquired NBA team towards success. Over the show’s first season, Buss’ daughter, Jeanie Buss, assists Claire Rothman and works to realize her father’s grand vision for the Lakers. In contrast, Buss’ sons are primarily absent from the narrative for the most part.
However, that changes in the season finale as Buss wishes to bring more family members into the new family business. Therefore, viewers must be curious to find out whether Buss’ sons ended up working with the LA Lakers. If you wish to learn more about the whereabouts of Jerry Buss’ sons, here is everything you need to know!
Who Are Jerry Buss’ Sons?
When Jerry Buss purchased the LA Lakers from former owner Jack Kent Cooke in 1979, he was divorced from his first wife, JoAnn Mueller. The couple has four children together — two elder sons, Johnny Buss (born in 1956), James “Jim” Buss (born in 1959), and two younger daughters in Jeanie Buss (born in 1961) and Janie Buss (born in 1963). After separation from Mueller, Buss dated Karen Demel and had two children: Joey Buss (born in 1985) and Jesse Buss (born in 1988). Given that the ‘Winning Time’ season finale takes place in 1980, only Johnny and Jim appear in the episode.
Born on October 18, 1956, Johnny Hatten Buss is the eldest son of Jerry Buss. Not much is known about Johnny’s early life or educational background. But it appears as though Johnny began a career in sports management in 1975 and later became the Executive Vice President of Strategic Development of the Los Angeles Lakers for several years. He also served as the President of the Los Angeles Lazers, a professional indoor soccer team, and the Los Angeles Sparks, a professional women’s basketball team.
James “Jim” Hatten Buss was born on November 9, 1959, and is the second eldest son of Jerry Buss. Jim worked as the President of Los Angeles Lazers from 1985 (to 1989), succeeding his elder brother in the role. He joined the Lakers in 1998 as an apprentice to General Manager Jerry West. Jim played an important role in the team’s scouting decisions and worked his way up the sports team’s hierarchy. After Jerry Buss’ death, Jim continued as the VP of Basketball Operations while his sister, Jeanie, looked after the business side of things as the team governor and president.
Where Are Jerry Buss’ Sons Today?
In 2013, after Jerry Buss passed away, all six Buss siblings were given an equal shareholding in the LA Lakers franchise. However, Johnny stated that he did not wish to be a part of the family business. He revealed that he wasn’t very interested in the family’s sports ownership business, and his interest further diminished after his father’s death. He said, “I think the desire to be an owner left when my dad passed away. I don’t think there’s any thrill in it. I think there’s a lot of money in it. If you knew me you would understand I’m not about money at all
After an apparent conflict with his siblings, Johnny resigned from the Buss Family Trusts and the Board of directors of the Lakers. Although he stepped away from active involvement in the Lakers’ operations in 2017, Johnny seemingly remains a part-owner in the franchise. He owns The Ice House, a comedy club in Pasadena, California, and has also shown interest in politics. Johnny was previously married to Christy Curtis Buss and has at least two sons. He currently resides in the Greater Los Angeles Metropolitan Area.
Jim was later appointed as the Head of Basketball Operations but was removed in 2017 by Jeanie. After a family feud, Jim resigned from the Buss Family Trusts and the Board of directors but is still seemingly a part-owner of the franchise. Although not much is known about Buss’ partners, he was married from 1983 to 1985 and is a father. He currently resides in Los Angeles.
Jerry Buss’s other two sons, Joey and Jesse, are also a part of the LA Lakers’ operations. Joey is a member of the board of directors and serves as the President and CEO of the South Bay Lakers (formerly Los Angeles D-Fenders), an NBA G League team owned by the Lakers. On the other hand, Jesse Buss is the Assistant General Manager of the LA Lakers. Ultimately, one way or another, all four of Jerry Buss’ sons ended up being associated with the LA Lakers.