Jeanie Buss

About

Birthplace
Santa Monica, California
On growing up
I feel I've matured into a woman who's confident in her sexuality, in how she looks and takes care of herself.
On misconceptions
People have preconceived notions about the children of the boss. But anyone who knows me knows what I can do.
On the Lakers
I finally realized my fantasy: to wear the uniform and not just be cheering from the sidelines.
Daughter of Jerry Buss, owner of the Los Angeles Lakers, Jeanie Buss, who was featured in a Playboy May 1995 pictorial not only possesses breathtaking beauty, she also inherited her dad’s whip smart business sense. By age 14, the blossoming businesswoman-to-be earned the nickname Arena Rat because she'd do anything to hang around athletes or sit in on business meetings. At the barely adult age of 19, Jeanie was named general manager of the Los Angeles Strings professional tennis team while finishing her education at USC. The careers – yes, plural – that came after followed a similarly impressive arc. Buss later became the owner of the Los Angeles Blades professional roller hockey team, was president of the Great Western Forum and later became vice president of the NBA maverick Los Angeles Lakers.

When her father passed in 2013, Buss took over as owner and President of the LA Lakers. Beyond nepotism, Jeanie has thrived in an arena that few women have been able to conquer— succeed in the male-dominated world of pro sports ownership. Buss’ life journey in this work began when she was a shy teenager. “People have preconceived notions about the children of the boss,” she told Playboy. “But anyone who knows me knows what I can do.” Her keen interest in her future career of sports came early and honestly. Jeanine is the best example of how exposure can help mold and expand a youth’s mind. "I would take along my Barbie dolls when my dad would take us to track meets and football games," Jeanie recounts in her May 1995 pictorial, laughing at the introduction to her future career. "But then I got kind of obsessed with sports." 

Despite the soaring success she’s achieved in her behind-the-scenes career sports, Jeannie admits there are still a few glass ceilings she’d like to shatter. “The locker room is the one place I can’t go, and that bugs me,” Buss, named one of the Top 20 Most Influential Women in Sports, says. “I miss going in and doing some high fives after my team wins." It was Jeanie’s idea to step out of the boardroom for her playfully sporty Playboy pictorial, “With these photographs, I finally realized my fantasy: to wear the uniform and not just be cheering from the sidelines.” Also, being a businesswoman to the core, Buss also saw her pictorial as a unique crossover opportunity to shine spotlight on her teams. She adds, “I’m not going to deny that this might help my business.”

But the honest and true reason Buss posed for Playboy is simple. She was a long-time fan of the iconic, sophisticated brand and just like her successful sports team ownership career appearing in the publication was one of her dreams as young woman. “I thought, what are all the things I’ve wanted to do? Being featured in Playboy was one of them. As an 18-year-old, I couldn’t have done this,” Buss recalled in 1995. “But I feel I’ve matured into a woman who’s confident in her sexuality, in how she looks and in how she takes care of herself. This, to me, was the perfect statement that I wanted to make about myself.”

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