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Report: Agents, general managers describe Linda Rambis as Lakers’ ‘shadow owner’


LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 24: Linda Rambis (L) and Jeanie Buss attend a basketball game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Sacramento Kings at Staples Center on March 24, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images)

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Linda Rambis’ presence at Monty Williams’ interview with the Lakers raised a few eyebrows. After all, Rambis’ title with the Lakers is Executive Director, Special Projects. What does that have to do with picking a coach?

Amin Elhassan on ESPN:

Some agents and GMs around the league have dubbed her the shadow owner of the Lakers, that everything goes through Linda Rambis, and if you want to convince Jeanie of something, you’ve got to get Linda first.

Ramona Shelburne on ESPN:

The fact that people talk about that now is funny to me, because it’s been that way, really, for 40 years. They have been best friends. And personality-wise, if you know them, it sort of makes sense. Jeanie can be shy. Linda is more of a talker. She’s more of a doer. The difference is, in the past, her role has been more as a consigliere or an events person whereas, right now, there’s a lot more dealing with agents.

Lakers owner Jeanie Buss and Rambis have been close a long time. It’s different now that Buss is controlling owner, succeeding her father, who died in 2013. It gets even more attention with the power vacuum created by Magic Johnson’s resignation. Though general manager Rob Pelinka appears to be running the front office, Buss is the known authority. People are looking to her for guidance on the Lakers’ direction.

And she’s apparently looking to Rambis.

There’s nothing necessarily nefarious about this. Many owners have advisors with significant influence. This is just good insight into how the Lakers’ operate.

Likely not coincidentally, Linda’s husband – former Lakers player and interim coach Kurt Rambis – appears set to gain a bigger role within the Lakers. That is concerning.