Jeanie Buss became the first woman to own a championship NBA team after the Los Angeles Lakers won in 2020. Buss is the controlling owner and president of the Lakers and the daughter of Jerry Buss, the former Lakers owner who died in 2013.
Buss’ net worth is estimated to be at $500 million as a result of her controlling ownership of the Lakers and co-ownership of the U.S. women’s professional wrestling promotion Women of Wrestling and other business ventures, according to Celebrity Net Worth.
Here’s what you need to know about Jeanie Buss’ net worth:
1. Jeanie Buss Is the President & Owner of the Los Angeles Lakers
Buss, 61, is best known as the president and the controlling owner of the Lakers, which amounts to a significant portion of her career earnings. After Buss’ father Jerry Buss died in 2013, his six children inherited his controlling portion of 66% of the Lakers, with each of his children getting around 11% of the team. Forbes estimates that the Lakers are worth around $5.9 billion, which would mean that an 11% stake is worth just under $650 million.
In 2017, following a battle with her brothers Jim and Johnny Buss that saw Buss fire her brother Jim as head of basketball operations and executive vice president, Buss gained greater control of the Lakers. According to the agreement filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, Buss became the controlling owner for the rest of her life, the NBA reported.
In addition to being the CEO of the Lakers, Buss is also at the head of all aspects of the organization, including basketball operations, marketing, sponsorships and broadcasting partner relationships. She is also the Lakers’ Governor and represents the team on the NBA Board of Governors. She’s also a committee member of the NBA Advisory and Finance Committee, according to NBC Sports.
While speaking with the Los Angeles Times in 2022, Buss said she’s similar to her father in wanting the team and the players to be at the center of the organization and not her. “I’m kind of like my dad, where it’s kind of like, let the players, let the team, be the focus, not me,” she shared. “But I get that I have been kind of in the background too much for people to understand what’s going on.”
She hit back at criticisms that the Lakers are controlled by LeBron James and Klutch Sports, telling the publication emphatically, “Do they have final say? No. Are they running the team? No, no, not at all. I am [the] controlling owner of the Los Angeles Lakers, I’m held accountable for every decision that’s made here.”
She also shared that she has no interest in ever selling the Lakers and said, “I’m not going anywhere. This is exactly what my dad asked me to do. The team is not for sale.” She told the Times that owning the team isn’t about an investment, it’s about honoring her father’s wishes and keeping the Lakers in the Buss family.
2. Jeanie Buss Was the General Manager of a Tennis Team at Age 19, Managed a Roller Hockey Team & Is Now the Co-Owner of the Women’s Wrestling Promotion Women of Wrestling
Buss’ ownership of the Lakers is not her first experience managing a sports team as she also managed some of the past sports teams owned by her father. She was the general manager of Jerry Buss’ professional tennis team, the Los Angeles Strings, when she was just 19 years old.
When she was a teenager, Buss had accompanied her father to World Team Tennis meetings, and when the league was relaunched in 1981 as TeamTennis, her father named her the Strings’ general manager.
“Basically, my dad bought me the team,” Buss told Sports Illustrated. “It was a very empowering experience.” Unfortunately, the Strings dissolved in 1993, although not before Buss led them to two league titles.
Buss also became the manager of another of her father’s teams, the Los Angeles Blades in the Roller Hockey International league. The league was only in operation from 1993 to 1999 but Buss was praised as the Blades manager, with Ken Yaffe, who was at the time the NHL’s liaison to the RHI league, saying, “Jeanie’s knowledge is second to none in getting a second-tier sport off the ground. Though the executive meetings were male-dominated, Jeanie was very strong-willed and never caved in.”
According to her profile in Sports Business Journal, Buss was also named Executive of the Year by Roller Hockey International.
In addition to those past ventures, Buss is also the current owner of Women of Wrestling, an American women’s professional wrestling promotion. The promotion’s website states that Buss was inspired by tennis legend Billie Jean King as well as her childhood love of comic book heroines. “The women of WOW are some of the strongest people I’ve ever met in my life, and you can feel that strength as you watch them do things ordinary human beings cannot do,” Buss said. “They’re incredibly extraordinary. They are Superheroes.”
3. Jeanie Buss Studied Business & Graduated From the University of Southern California With Honors
While Buss learned a lot of what she knows from shadowing her father at his meetings, she also obtained a degree in business. Buss graduated from the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business with honors in 1985 and now serves as a Trustee for the university.
During a speaking engagement at Chapman University, Buss revealed that her father made her promise to finish her post-secondary education as a condition for making her the owner of the Los Angeles Strings at 19 years old. “That was a very important thing to my father, as it should be,” Buss shared. “Education was the No. 1 most important thing. I did it and learned a lot of good lessons.”
Buss’ father Jerry Buss praised his daughter back in 1998 when he told Sports Illustrated that she was “the one who turned out most like me” out of all his children. The then-NBA commissioner David Stern said she “has a complete knowledge of the interplay of sports marketing, building management and TV. If she took over the Lakers from her father, I don’t think anything would be lost in the transition,” he said at the time.
In addition to her degree, Buss was named in Forbes’ top 10 most powerful women in U.S. sports in 2018.
4. Jeanie Buss Has Gotten Involved in Hollywood & Is the Executive Producer of a Hulu Docuseries & an Upcoming Netflix Show
Living in Los Angeles, it’s no surprise that Buss is involved in show business as well. She was the executive producer of a recent Hulu documentary on the Lakers, titled “Legacy: The True Story of the LA Lakers.” The documentary series shows the rise and success of the Lakers franchise from the moment Jerry Buss bought the team in 1979 and it also explores the fight for control within the Buss family after his death.
“It was important to me to tell my dad’s story to a generation now that many have heard his name, but didn’t really know what he did that made it so special,” Buss told Variety about the documentary.
In addition to the documentary series, Buss has teamed up with Mindy Kaling to develop a scripted workplace comedy that is inspired by Buss’ Lakers office and family dynamics. “The workplace comedy follows fictional team governor Eliza Reed as she navigates NBA ownership and family drama with her best friend by her side,” Variety reported. Netflix has already ordered 10 episodes of the show, with “Modern Family’s” Elaine Ko on board as a writer.
Buss, who is now engaged to actor and comedian Jay Mohr, also decided to give stand-up comedy a try.
5. Jeanie Buss Bought a Beachside Condo in Playa Del Rey in 2020
Buss purchased her latest property in 2020, a property worth $2.6 million in Playa del Rey. According to the Times, Buss’ new condo is located in The Breakers and is set right on the beach with an ocean-view balcony and patio. The publication reported that the 2,200-square-foot home has four bedrooms, three bathrooms, a master bedroom with a private balcony and a beachfront patio downstairs.
Her latest house purchase came a year after she sold her Mediterranean-style Playa Vista home for $2.575 million. She sold the property in 2019, two years after first buying it, although Buss made significant changes to the home, the Times reported.
While some may have doubted Buss earlier on in her career, she told the New York Times that winning the Lakers’ 17th NBA championship in 2020 is so far her greatest accomplishment. “I think now people are saying, ‘She belongs,’” Buss shared. “Would I have been in this position if my dad didn’t own the team? Probably not. But I do deserve to be here.”