Jeanie Buss is one of the NBA’s more bold owners. Her tenure as the head of the Los Angeles Lakers has led to some low lows and extremely high highs.
Part of what sets Buss apart from her peers in the field is her willingness to do unorthodox things. Whether it’s sending public flirty messages to fellow team owners or hosting a fateful meeting with LeBron James that would change the Lakers’ fortunes forever – she is always down for whatever the situation calls for.
Recently, Buss provided an interesting window into just how far she is willing to go to carve a new, more original lane in basketball.
In a far-reaching interview Daniel Kaplan of The Athletic, Buss opened up about a secret plan she had hatched with Kobe Bryant prior to his passing that obviously will now never come to fruition.
“I had started talking to Kobe because the way (his late daughter) Gianna [Bryant] was devouring basketball, it wasn’t going to be enough for her to be a champion on a college team,” Buss said. “She was going to want a bigger challenge. Something that had never been done… What I was talking to Kobe about was like a co-ed team. We’ve got the G League. We’ve got the WNBA, got the NBA. Why not a co-ed league?”
A lot of Buss’ enthusiasm for this move was predicated on just how much faith she had in Gianna. The Lakers owner saw a killer mentality in the young girl that she had once seen before in her father.
“Gianna was so inspiring because she was like Kobe,” Buss continued.
“She would process information, and then she’d need more and more … She was like, ‘OK, I did that. Now give me more challenges.’ That was Kobe. You know, he just wanted more and more and more. That’s why he was such a killer on the court. You know, he just kept refining his game. learning more moves, dissecting opponents, teams before we played. He knew what all their moves were going to be, like, relentless. That’s the heart of a champion, right?”
LaMelo Ball emerges as an early frontrunner for the 2021-22 NBA MVP Award. https://t.co/sSeA2JNkAf
— Game 7 (@game7__) August 18, 2021
Kobe and Gianna were killed in January 2020 helicopter crash. Their passing was a devastating blow, and has led to a lot of thoughtful introspection on the impact they had and could’ve continued to have on the world.
While Buss will obviously not be able to do a co-ed league with Kobe, hopefully somewhere down the line someone opts to pick up this idea and run with it.