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Los Angeles owners a mixed bag in Sports Illustrated's Best & Worst list

May 12, 2009 |  2:29 pm

Lakers owner Jerry Buss getting his star on the Hollywood Walk of fame in 2006. It stressed that this list was by no means scientific, but Sports Illustrated cited numerous factors when putting together its Best and Worst Owners list in the four major professional sports, the NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL. SI says the factors included the owners' willingness to spend money to improve the team, stability in the front office and management, amenities at the team's venue, how the team interacts with its fan base and one more important factor -- the team's overall success. Boil those five factors together and you'll see some of our L.A. owners on that list.

Angels owner Arte Morena watching his team during batting practice earlier this season. First, the good. SI ranked Angels owner Arte Moreno as the second-best owner in the MLB because he "has turned a franchise once owned by Disney into a perennial playoff team that is envied by players around the majors for its reputation for winning while treating its employees with class," thanks to the Angels' 547-425 record and four playoff appearances since Moreno acquired the club in 2003.

Lakers owner Jerry Buss and Clippers owner Donald Sterling are ranked the best and worst owner, respectively, in the NBA list.

SI writes of Buss: "In retrospect, Lakers fans almost feel silly for calling Buss onto the carpet for dealing Shaquille O'Neal and putting up with Kobe Bryant's repeated trade requests. All is well in Lakerland again, as the organization has rebuilt itself into what may be the third dynasty of Buss' tenure. The Lakers made the postseason for the 28th time during Buss' 31 years. They've also won more than 60 games eight times, not to mention eight championships in 14 NBA Finals appearances. Beneath all that glitz and glamour is an organization that clings fast to its tradition: Magic Johnson is a part-owner, Mitch Kupchak is the GM and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Kurt Rambis and Brian Shaw are assistant coaches.

Clippers owner Donald Sterling just before the start of the past season. Though Sterling earned the nod for worst owner, hey, at least the Clippers apparently have the best fan in 'Clipper Darrell.' The Times' Diane Pucin recently profiled Ralph Lawler, the Clippers' play-by-play commentator.

Of Sterling's leadership, SI wrote "there is no American sports franchise more associated with futility than the Clippers ... Though they've achieved some level of stability in the past few years -- notoriously cheap Sterling has cracked his checkbook a tiny bit, and Mike Dunleavy is now the longest-tenured coach in franchise history -- the team is mired in its old losing ways, eclipsing 60 losses for the eighth time under Sterling."

-- Mark Medina

Top photo: Lakers owner Jerry Buss getting his star on the Hollywood Walk of fame in 2006. Credit: Spencer Weiner/Los Angeles Times.

Middle photo: Angels owner Arte Morena watching his team during batting practice earlier this season. Credit: Paul Buck/EPA.

Bottom photo: Clippers owner Donald Sterling just before the start of the past season. Credit: Alex Gallardo/Los Angeles Times.

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