Is Owner Jim Buss Destroying The Legacy of the Lakers?
The 18-35 Los Angeles Lakers are in the company of the Sacramento Kings, waaaaaaayyy down at the bottom of the Western Conference. Who would have ever imagined that the Lakers, and the Kings, two teams who would battle it out in the early 2000’s in the Western Conference Finals would be the two worst teams in the West? Who would be so sinister as to conjure this up years ago? Mostly everybody is taken aback by this, especially Lakers fans. That winning tradition and championship reigning atmosphere has long departed from the legendary Staples Center. You have former NBA players such as Tracy McGrady who actually tweeted his feeling sorry for Kobe Bryant and the sub par performance of his teammates.
Lets face it, the Lakers have spiraled out of control and down into the bottomless pit when they let Phil Jackson go. The supreme arrogance of Jim Buss did that. Buss felt as though they had enough talent to reach the Finals and win without Jackson, who wanted control of the front office, which Buss was just unwilling to give him. Jeannie Buss, Jim Buss’ sister, and Phil Jackson’s long time girlfriend was stunned when her brother did not hire Jackson to coach the Lakers. Jackson wanted input on personnel decisions and the roster. Apparently, big brother was not having it. She has an autobiography out entitled, “Laker Girl” that even discusses the hiring and firing of now Cleveland Cavaliers coach, Mike Brown. She blames her father, the late and legendary, Jerry Buss, her brother, and Lakers general manager, Mitch Kupchak for not hiring Jackson and hiring D’Antoni instead.
Jackson said that the Laker organization was “not right” and that you don’t fire a coach five games into the season. Jeannie was stunned because Jackson never showed interest in the job until Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak came to meet with him at the house the day before. They seemed to believe that D’Antoni would be a better fit for the team as far as personnel goes. (Come to think of it, Jackson coached his last game on May 8th. They hired Mike Brown on the 25th. Jim Buss could not wait to get rid of Jackson. He already had people lined up.)
NBA legend, Magic Johnson also blames Jim Buss for the current condition of the team, stating the Buss is ruining the Lakers, not Kupchak. “It’s not Mitch’s situation anymore. Mitch has to follow the direction of Jim Buss and what he wants. I wouldn’t say Mitch is the problem. He’s going to do his job.” Johnson is currently the Vice President of the Los Angeles Lakers organization.
It has been clear up to this point that Jim Buss has no idea how to run this legendary Lakers team. However, let us not place all of the blame on Buss. Direct your attention to Kobe Bryant. It has always been my belief that Bryant played a part in the firing of Mike Brown. Not only that, but he also played a part in Dwight Howard’s departure and last but not least, the Lakers stagnant process as a team. It is clear that Nick Young is a rising star on the Lakers team; no one can really disagree with that. However, how is this young man supposed to shine with Kobe Bryant’s egotistical selfish ambition standing in his way and the Lakers organization signing him to a two year deal? How does that make sense, Jim Buss? Really? Please enlighten me! Kobe is near the very end of his long career. He knows it, the general population knows it, and the Lakers fans whether they want to admit or not, they know it.
Mr. Buss, you are standing in the Lakers way of getting a championship. You and Kobe both. Oh, and we haven’t even gotten to Mike D’Antoni yet.
It was a mistake for Jerry Buss to put his son in charge of basketball operations for the Lakers, and an ugly mistake at that. Another mistake was made when Buss decided to keep D’Antoni as head coach. Has he not realized that the players are not adapting well to D’Antoni’s system? Dwight Howard did not even want to play for D’Antoni. Apparently, something wasn’t right. Buss, like his friend Kobe, has a big ego. Buss is very arrogant, but his arrogance is straight foolery. The Los Angeles Times says that the owners’ coaching choices are not the only issue. They claim that the Lakers have been inept at scouting and player development. This just keeps looking worse and worse.
For all of you that are wondering why Steve Nash is still playing with the Lakers, the answer is simple. Jim Buss. Buss claimed that this was a good deal and that Nash would be worth over $9 million dollars in his early 40’s. This is the same guy that is wasting money on Kobe Bryant who is injured and riding the bench. This is the same guy that actually hoodwinked Phil Jackson into thinking he was going to get his old job back. This is the same guy that is still allowing Mike D’Antoni to coach the Lakers. I am willing to bet any amount of money that D’Antoni will be back next year.
If Buss continues his disoriented and fain leadership as an owner, the misfortunes of the Los Angeles Lakers will be continuous and evident to everybody in the world except himself. My 14 year old brother can run the Lakers better than he could. Buss has proven that he does not listen to anybody but himself, and he is completely stubborn and self absorbed. Not hiring Phil Jackson was not business for Buss, trust me, it was personal. It could be because Jackson is dating little sis; you know how protective big brothers are. However, he acted very unprofessional when the two went an entire year without talking, which of course he denies. Buss refuses to pay attention at the change the Lakers need in the roster.
Is it just me or does this guy remind you of a NBA version Jerry Jones?
Maybe it’s just me.
Sports Kings Pass The Pill Contributor, Briyant Hines