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Does Jerry Buss still own the Lakers?

The Buss family have been the owners of the Los Angeles Lakers for pretty much the entirety of the team’s successes over the last 50 years. 

Does Jerry Buss still own the Lakers? When Jerry Buss passed away in 2013, his 66% ownership of the Los Angeles Lakers passed to his six children, with each receiving 11%. So Jerry Buss does not still own the Lakers, but his children do. 

Jerry Buss purchased the Los Angeles Lakers all the way back in 1979, purchasing the team alongside the Los Angeles Kings hockey team, The Forum and a large ranch for $67.5 million. Jerry Buss continued to hold ownership of the team for the next 33 until his health started to deteriorate. 

Buss sadly passed away from cancer on the 18th of February 2013. Before his death, Jerry Buss had created a succession plan for the Lakers, a team he cared about very much. The plan was that his 66% ownership of the Lakers would be split evenly amongst his six children, so each of his children inherited 11%. 

The succession plan also had his daughter Jeanie assuming his previous title as the governor of the Lakers. So it means that while the Lakers are still majority owned by the Buss family, but now owned by Jerry Buss anymore. 

Who Owns the Lakers now? 

The Los Angeles Lakers were purchased by Jerry Buss all the way back in 1979 from previous owner Jack Kent Cooke. When Buss died in 2013, that ownership was passed on to his six children.

There still needed to be a controlling owner who would act as the president of the team. The succession plan was for Jeanie Buss to take that role and he is still the controlling owner of the team today. So the Buss family are still the majority owners of the Lakers, but there are other owners of the Lakers. 

In 1998, Phillip Anschutz purchased a stake in the Lakers. Anschutz earned his money through his father’s oil drilling company and earned large returns through investing in stocks, real estate and railroads. Anschutz is not the only minority owner of the Lakers. 

In the same year that Anschutz bought a stake in the team, Ed Roski Jr. also bought a stake in the Lakers. The real estate mogul became a minority owner of the Los Angeles Kings three years before purchasing a stake in the Lakers. 

In 2010, the Lakers were again looking to sell more of the team and Patrick Soon-Shiong became a minority owner in the team. Soon-Shiong made his money through inventing the drug Abraxane which is used to treat lung, breast and pancreatic cancer. He also made smart investments in companies like Zoom and AccuRadio. 

Will the Lakers be sold? 

Since Jeanie Buss took over as the Los Angeles Lakers controlling owner, there has been some talk about the possibility that the majority stake of the Lakers will be sold. Throughout his time as controlling owner, Jerry Buss always showed 100% commitment to making the Lakers the best team in the NBA

Jerry Buss loved the Lakers and developed very close relationships with stars like Magic Johnson and Kobe Bryant. Since his passing in 2013, there has been some talk about whether the team will be sold. 

So far, the Lakers only have the one title under the presidency of Jeanie Buss despite attracting superstars like Lebron James and Anthony Davis to join the team. The Buss family’s commitment to the Lakers is still not a certainty and they would be making a hefty profit If they decided to sell their share of the Lakers. 

The Lakers are currently valued at around $5.5 billion and so if the family decided to sell, they would likely get a figure around $3.7 billion to split between the six family members. 

But it does appear that the Lakers will not be sold. Team president and controlling owner Jeanie Buss recently came out with a statement saying “In terms of selling the team, I’m not going anywhere. This is exactly what my dad asked me to do”. 

In that same interview, Jeanie Buss made it clear that the Lakers were much more than an investment to the Buss family. She said that part of the succession plan laid out by her father before his passing was that the Lakers should stay in the family and Jeanie Buss sees the Lakers as a crucial part of her family. 

Even if the Buss family did want to sell their stake in the Lakers, it would not be easy. The ownership is held in a trust at the moment and that trust means that the team cannot be sold off in smaller pieces, it can only be sold as a whole. So if the Buss family did want to sell, they would have to find a buyer who would be happy to purchase the full 66% of the Lakers. 

Does Magic Johnson own a stake in the Lakers? 

Currently, Magic Johnson is not a stakeholder in the Los Angeles Lakers but he has been in the past. When Magic Johnson retired from the Los Angeles Lakers for the first time, he wanted to still be involved with the team. The first way he did this was Magic became the coach of the Lakers in 1994. 

But Magic was clear that he did not want to go down the coaching route after playing. Instead, Johnson was determined to become an entrepreneur and investor. He made an investment in the Lakers in 1994 when Jerry Buss sold a minority stake of the Lakers to Magic. 

Buss mainly did this because he and Magic developed a close personal relationship, with Magic seeing Jerry Buss as a father figure to him throughout his life and his time after the NBA. It is why Buss sold him a 4% stake in the Lakers for $10 million back in 1994. 

But in 2010, Magic revealed that he had sold his stake in the Lakers, only a couple years before he began investing in other Los Angeles sports teams.