From Kurt Helin, Pro Basketball Talk: Jim Buss has become a caricature to many Lakers fans — the media shy, hard-partying son of a legendary owner who stays in the shadows, doesn’t get the tradition and doesn’t get how to run a franchise like his father. Nepotism at its worst. But like most caricatures that is a two-dimensional representation that distorts the truth. Ask people around the league and they speak of Buss as smart and measured. Listen to him speak — or read an in-depth interview with him such as the one Ramona Shelburne did at ESPNLosAngeles.com — and you get the sense of a guy who gets the incredible shadow he is living in, the near impossibility of living up to his father’s successes, and a how much he wants to do the job right. That includes owning up to the disappointment of last season.
From Ryan Ward, Lakers Nation: The 2013-14 NBA season is rapidly approaching with only 48 days left before the Los Angeles Lakers square off against their division rival, the Los Angeles Clippers, at Staples Center. With the first game of the season right around the corner, the speculation continues about when Kobe Bryant will be ready to return to the floor for the Lakers. Although there’s been multiple reports that Kobe will be ready to take on the Clippers on Oct. 29, no timetable has been set for his return. On Wednesday, a report surfaced that Kobe is still unsure if he’ll be ready for the season opener. Obviously, with Kobe’s track record for bouncing back quickly from injuries, many have shrugged this off believing that there’s no way the five-time NBA champion will miss the matchup against Chris Paul and company.
From C.A. Clark, Silver Screen & Roll: Because basketball is not the only sport in the world, and because the long and lonely months from June (or sometimes *gulp* April) to October can get awful boring otherwise, there are other sports teams that I root for. One of those teams, for no other reason than geographical proximity to my childhood, is the San Diego Chargers. I don’t want to waste your time with too much NFL talk, but the Chargers are … not very good. Even, as often happened in the last 5 or so years, when they were very good, they were still, somehow, not very good. And this Monday, in their first game of a new season, under a new head coach, and with lots of new players, they lost in the most Chargers way possible, building up a huge lead in the first half and then looking woefully incompetent in letting the Houston Texans score the final 24 points of the game, including a game winning field goal as time expired. What was my response to such a gut punch of a game? A smirk, a chuckle and a quiet whisper in my mind: Never change, Chargers. Never change.
From Ramona Shelburne, ESPN LA:It’s hard to say why we save the things we save when someone dies. Why a particular shirt feels meaningful or why it’s hard to delete certain voicemails. The list of things a loved one leaves in a will might be long. It’s often what they didn’t have to include in the will that sticks with you. Among other things, Jim Buss saved a voicemail from his father from Jan. 20, less than a month before the Lakers’ Hall of Fame owner, Jerry Buss, died after an 18-month battle with cancer. He has replayed it so many times he knows it by heart.” ‘Hey Jim, it’s your dad,’ ” Buss says, mimicking his father’s squeaky voice. ” ‘What an incredible waste of talent. Oh well. The experiment didn’t work.’ ”