As the dollars (and pounds and euros) have increased, there's more scrutiny than ever on the executives making decisions for teams, leagues, TV networks, sponsors and the other important entities in the sports business. These are the real power players -- the off-the-field folks who sign the contracts, negotiate the trades, finalize the media deals and show players the money. Now, FanHouse will give you an informative and entertaining look at the who these people are -- and tell you how they got there, what they do now, and what they're thinking about for the future.
Our first guest: Jeanie Buss, executive vice-president of business operations for the NBA's Los Angeles Lakers. Her father, Jerry Buss, has owned the Lakers since 1979 and has overseen an unrivaled hoops dynasty over the last three decades. Led by stars such as Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal, the team has won 9 titles under Buss' stewardship. Likewise, the Lakers' "Showtime" on-court style and hordes of famous fans have come to define the growing confluence of sports and entertainment.
We talk to Jeanie about her dad, the state of the NBA, and her very tall boyfriend, Lakers coach Phil Jackson. Welcome to "The Front Office."