In case y’all somehow forgot, professional sports is an extremely lucrative business — not just for the players by virtue of their enormous contracts, but also for the team owners, managers and coaches, too. Take Los Angeles Lakers head coach Luke Walton, who was signed to a five-year deal with a healthy base salary of $5 million per year. That’s enough cheddar to afford him a $7.2 million Manhattan Beach mansion. But excessive as that salary may seem to mere financial mortals, that sort of money is peanuts to a team this valuable.
As one of the NBA’s marquee franchises, Forbes estimates the Lakers are worth a breathtaking $3 billion. That’s certainly good news for the children of the late Dr. Jerry Buss, the team’s charismatic longtime owner. Upon his 2013 death, his six adult kids inherited a 66% majority stake in the Lakers. Assuming the Forbes valuation is accurate — and we have no reason to doubt it is — that would make each kid’s 11% share worth a whopping $330 million. On paper, at least.
In the five years since their dad’s death, the six Buss children (Johnny, Jim, Jeanie, Janie, Joey, Jesse) have been busy putting their inheritance to work — not just by signing King LeBron James to an unprecedented $154 million deal, but also by acquiring some of LA’s most desirable real estate.
This month (November 2018), a brand-new contemporary mansion in the searingly expensive Brentwood area sold for $9,750,000, not far below the hefty $9.995 million asking price. Located on one of the neighborhood’s premier hillside streets, the house is blessed with head-on ocean views from every room.
Although the property was purchased via a blind trust, Yolanda discovered the new owner is Jesse Buss, the youngest of Dr. Buss’s six spawn and a prominent figure in the Lakers’ team management.
30-year-old Mr. Buss, in addition to being enormously wealthy at a very young age, wields great power (and likewise, great responsibility). He previously served as the Lakers’ Director of Scouting, responsible for handpicking draft prospects and recruiting new talent. In 2015, Mr. Buss was promoted to become the team’s Assistant General Manager, making his opinion even more vital to personnel decisions.
Our boy has become a recognizable face of the Lakers franchise and now boasts more than 100,000 followers on the Instagram contraption. And yes — for any curious ladies who might be reading this — Mr. Buss is indeed single and (presumably) ready to mingle, though he does share a toddler-age son with his ex-fiancee/baby mama Jordanna Younger.
Coincidentally (or maybe not), Mr. Buss’s new house happens to be located on the very same street as the much larger mansion that King James bought last year for $23 million. But no word on whether the pair will be carpooling to Laker games, unfortunately. We rather think not, but y’all never know.
The slick new bachelor pad of Mr. Buss was built on spec by a local developer and drawn up by Malibu-based Amit Apel Design Inc. As best we can tell, the developer acquired the rather petite .19-acre property in late 2014 for a mere $1,836,000. He soon razed the existing residence, the so-called Henstell House designed by legendary architect A. Quincy Jones. (But the demolition didn’t happen without a fight: architect and Jones biographer Cory Buckner attempted to have the home declared a historical monument, but was ultimately unsuccessful in her quest).
Anyway, the new blocky residence includes a two-car garage plus off-street parking for at least a couple more vehicles. Though the structure sits rather hard up on the street, road noise is minimized thanks to a partial screen of privacy hedges. Total square footage here is 6,500-square-feet spread across three full floors with a total of 6 bedrooms (all of them en-suite) and 8 bathrooms.
The main level features light brown hardwood floors, soaring ceilings with dozens (hundreds?) of those ever-trendy recessed LED lights, and an open-concept floorpan. The living area centers around a massive fireplace and is conveniently adjacent to the snazzily minimalist kitchen, with its walls of Australian oak cabinets, high-end Wolf/SubZero appliances and Dekton countertops (they could easily pass for marble).
The main floor also sports two enormous walls of glass Fleetwood sliders that magically disappear. Voilà! It’s a quintessential SoCal indoor/outdoor living situation.
Due to the small lot size, the backyard isn’t quite as big as one might expect for nearly $10 million, but it does have generous terraces, an infinity-edged swimming pool and adjacent spa, and a tiny strip of lawn that’s pretty much unusable for all but a small dog run. Still, who needs a huge backyard with that view?
Four of the home’s six bedroom suites are located on the upper level, including the master with its fireplace, sitting area, and private balcony. Naturally there’s a fashionista-sized closet and a bathroom with a soaking tub, dual vanities, and glassy shower.
Things get buckwild down in the subterranean lower level, where there are gleaming terrazzo (?) floors, a temperature-controlled wine rack, fancy pool table, a “fully illuminated” onyx wet bar, home theater with tiered seating, and a yoga studio/gym with a full wall of glass for admiring your sweat-soaked body.
Back in 2015, when Mr. Buss was just a wee lad of 27, he and his ex (Ms. Younger) paid $3,800,000 for a brand-new Traditional house in the nearby Westwood neighborhood. Yolanda assumes (without any firsthand knowledge, mind you) that baby mama will continue to reside out there while Mr. Buss hightails it over to his fancy new Brentwood spread.
Listing agent: Ari Shram, The Agency
Jesse Buss’s agent: Jen Beron, The Agency