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The "Shadow Owner" For The Los Angeles Lakers

(via LeBron Wire)

(via LeBron Wire)

The biggest problem plaguing the Los Angeles Lakers stems from their leadership core. Even after Magic Johnson's departure, many are unsure who really runs the team. Rob Pelinka is making moves, Jeanie Buss is invested in the team, but Johnson apparently still has some voice, and Kobe Bryant still has a lot of Jeanie's respect.

But in a new report, Linda Rambis (Executive Director of Special Projects) may be another name with a significant stranglehold over the team decision making.

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 indicated, however, that this reality is nothing new for the organization.

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.

These reports started when Jeanie brought the Rambis family to the interview for Monty Williams.

For perspective free agents, how will they feel about the Lakers not knowing which person is in charge? The picture is murky, the leadership is scattered, and it seems there are myriads of voices whispering into Jeanie's ear.

Before the team lures in any free agents, they will have to figure out who has control over the fracture franchise.