Report: Kobe Bryant to Miss the Remainder of the Season

Darius Soriano —  March 12, 2014

What was always a possibility, now seems to be a reality. On Tuesday night Kevin Ding reported (and now ESPN is as well) that Kobe Bryant will not play again this season:

The words are about to become official. Kobe Bryant, out for the season. The Los Angeles Lakers are expected to declare Bryant out for the rest of the 2013-14 season later this week, according to team sources. Bryant is not accompanying the team on its trip to Oklahoma City and San Antonio, staying back to be reexamined by team doctor Steve Lombardo. And considering where Bryant’s level of discomfort remains with the fractured lateral tibial plateau in his left knee, barring an unforeseen change, the team will finalize the decision that Bryant will not play again this season.

As the season played out and Kobe continued to make little progress, the likelihood of him suiting up again this year decreased. Still, though, it’s a bummer to know that it won’t be until September or October that we actually see Kobe play in an NBA game.

And it’s not just a bummer because I like watching Kobe ply his craft against NBA competition. It is just as much about Kobe only playing in six games after rupturing his achilles tendon, never truly getting back on the floor where he could fully test his recovery and adapt back to working on the repaired tendon. Further, the fact that he ended up injuring the knee on the same leg as his achilles tear only means that any progress made in terms of building up strength in that leg was not only halted, but probably reversed.

What Kobe faces now is a multi-layered hole he must try to dig himself out of. Not only is he facing an uncertain timeline of when he can return to working out in a normal way, but when he does he’ll be doing so on a leg that has not been tested in game situations for over a year. With that time off not only comes the big job of reworking himself physically as a pure athlete, but also the timing and court sense that comes with being a professional basketball player. Yes, I understand that for someone like Kobe this is akin to riding a bike (you never really forget) but when you combine it with adjusting to any physical limitations he may have it creates a scenario that isn’t so simple.

This isn’t to say I doubt Kobe Bryant’s ability to return to a level of effectiveness that can approximate the standard he’s shown over his last few seasons. But it will be a pretty big undertaking that, if he’s unable to achieve that standard it would not be a huge surprise. As Kobe has said himself, father time is undefeated. And when father time has injuries and lengthy stretches of inactivity on his side, you’d imagine his job only gets easier.

This is what Kobe is up against now and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t concerned.

Darius Soriano

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84 responses to Report: Kobe Bryant to Miss the Remainder of the Season

  1. Agree Darius. Very concerned and I have been the entire time. Kobe will be going into year 19 after what is now two major injuries. By the time he hits the floor again, he will have only played 6 games in 18 months. This is not good. I do not care about tanking or that this could get us a higher pick. I merely hope for the best for Kobe and wish to see him in full form again. I did not attend any of the 6 games he played in this year. I will not repeat that mistake next year.

  2. darius: as always, astute insights and wise decision on his part on so many levels.

    with age, came wisdom; with a few ouchies along the way. who’d of thunk?

    kobe: laker nation awaits your reemergence with utmost respect.

    Go lakers

  3. Can’t say this is a surprise, nor do I feel it’s a bad thing. Rushing him back wouldn’t have turned the Lakers’ fortunes for the better at this point this season — it’s one more reason to take a mulligan on 2013-14 and prepare for the future.

    We can only hope fortune smiles on the Lakers in the coming weeks similar to how it did the Spurs in 1996-97, when David Robinson only played six games. That team then went to Lottoland, only to emerge with Duncan.

    If not a first-ballot Hall of Famer, which is unrealistic to expect, we can at least hope the Lakers will land a franchise-caliber player come June.

  4. Kobe went off on the press conference, wondering why Phil is not hired in any capacity AGAIN, that Jeanie and Jim need to fix thier srained relationship that they need to figure out what to do with MDA, that he still mad about trading Blake and that he would apreciate a phone call if they make moves and that he wants to compete next year and not having another season like this one “this is not what we stand for” he is not quite happy. Ohh boy….

  5. Fern – I did not hear the press conference, but if what you are saying is true, this worries me.

  6. I did not watched i read his quotes on twitter and obviously is not like he was foaming at the mouth cursing people out but his frustration is noticeable could be primarily bc of his slow recovery but he made some hard statements, most of them we all share. And Magic firing again and opening another front. Not good not good at all.

  7. “father time is undefeated”

    Indeed, his WS is infinity

  8. Kobe is not who you go to for front office decision making. Let him say what he has to; Mitch has enough on his plate w/out having to worry about appeasing Kobe.

  9. What’s the rule on injury exceptions? Would it put us under the cap?

  10. If there was ever a season with an asterisk, this is it.

  11. Fern,

    links to those comments?

  12. Here’s the link to the comments that Fern was referring to: http://www.nba.com/lakers/news/140312kobebryant_mediasession.

    Some of the comments, while restrained, are incredibly candid. Here’s one:

    Q: On what he envisions next year with the team having a lot of financial flexibility going into the offseason:
    Bryant: I think we have to start at the top in terms of the culture of our team, what kind of culture do we want to have, what kind of system do we want to have, how do we want to play. And it starts there, and then from there, you can start building out your team accordingly.

    And another:

    Q: On clarifying what he means when he means the change has to start at the top:
    Bryant: Well, you have to start with Jim (Buss) and Jeanie (Buss), and how that relationship plays out. It starts with having a clear direction and clear authority. Then it goes down to the coaching staff, what Mike (D’Antoni) is going to do, what they want to do with Mike and it goes from there. It’s gotta start from the top.

    The entire article / interview is worth reviewing. In fact, it’s must reading.

  13. Kobe Bryant, Magic Johnson rip Lakers management lat.ms/1iBU08q

  14. SN sources: Kobe Bryant wants new Lakers coach next year!

  15. Kobe would make a terrible GM. He should shut up and get healthy.

  16. About Kobe well he dont need to be consulted, thats the truth but on almost everything else he is pretty much right. Thanks for the link Ko

  17. Barry guapo u nail it.

  18. Lakers didn’t need Kobe to come back this year for any playoff run, but it could have shown everyone, including those outside the organization, that the Lakers still have a superstar ready to go next year. And finishing the season strong is still a step in the right direction, except possibly for the lottery. Now there is only more doubt, and Kobe is looking mortal. If anyone can come back, it’s him, but how can his inability to get back on the court this season not result in less confidence?

    Kobe never said he wants to be GM. He’s asking the Laker front office to be great at what they do. Things appear to be coming to a head for them. Confidence in Buss and D’Antoni continues to go down, and it was not high to start with. Kobe is not the patient type. His position, fair or not, is get it done now, no excuses. Maybe he’s spoiled like many Laker fans, but he does hold himself to a high standard. Laker management has created this over several years. Coaches they picked. Contracts they signed. Personnel they kept or let go. Mix in the bad luck, and you have a real mess.

  19. Kobe wants MDA out and a good free agent or two this season??

    Who does this scrub think he is? The nerve of Kobe to ask for a decent coach and some decent teamates.

    How dare you, Kobe, for wanting to win another championship!

    How dare you, Magic, for wanting the Lakers to be succesful!

    How dare you Jeannie for thinking Phil is better qualified than Jimbo!

    How dare you, Laker fans, for demanding a better product!

  20. Fern – Based on how I read the comments, it seems to me that the biggest criticism is aimed at the discourse between Jim and Jeannie, and the impression that it leaves that the Laker org is split between where Jim wants to go and where Jeannie wishes we could go.

    Thats a fair criticism. One thing we are missing now that the Dr is gone is that single figurehead and decision maker for the team, both on the basketball side and the business side.

    I know a lot of people here think the Lakers have no “voice” or “leadership” and they blame Jim. Well, part of the problem is that Jeannie does not back up his decisions. Sure, Jim is in charge of the basketball OPs, but we cannot cast aside the criticism Jeannie has leveled at him in her book and in the press as meaningless or unimportant in terms of the perception people now have on Jim. I personally wonder if she would be so vocal if she did not have a personal relationship stake here with Phil. So instead of having a united front and an ownership group with at least a united voice, we see a fractured front.

    Regardless of where you stand on Jim or Jeannie, either way, one of them will need to be the bigger person and cave to the vision the other has for the team and basically let the other person run all of the aspects of the team. Sink or swim, I think this is the right approach at this juncture.

  21. Wow Kobe and Magic with just back to back haymakers. Wow
    Magic: “we need Phil Jackson to be the face of our great organization, the Los Angeles Lakers,” “Kobe Bryant is the face of the Lakers’ team. Who is the face of the Lakers’ organization?
    Then comes Kobe
    “”I think we have to start at the top in terms of the culture of our team,” “What type of culture do you want to have? What type of system do you want to have? How do you want to play? It starts there.”
    “Personally, it would be hard for me to understand that happening twice. It would be tough. I don’t really get it.” KB referring to Phil
    “That’s how it was explained to me by Jerry [West] and all the other great Lakers that have played here. That’s just how it is,”

    What a message – and no it is not coming from some crazy poster on a board – it is coming from two of the greatest of all time in the NBA and the two greatest Lakers of all time.

    Unprecedented – we are in complete chaos.

  22. Looks like a mess and perhaps lack of direction, but maybe not chaos. Magic complains all the time, and it’s predictable that Kobe is impatient. It’s on management to do their jobs, and only time will tell.

  23. Kobe clearly trying to pull a 2007 here and “motivate” the front office. He can have not one “lick of patience” all he wants, but he also has to be reasonable. The front office can “expect” him to have a PER higher than Lebron next year, but that’s not entirely reasonable.

    Kobe is hitting on an issue here that I think needs to be addressed, and there’s one quote that is getting less press time than his others: “I just want to get a phone call when someone gets traded.”

    Remember when Mike Brown was hired? The hubbub over Jim Buss not consulting Kobe at all, not keeping him in the loop? Buss later through the media said he regretted that act of not keeping Kobe involved – you can claim all you want that Kobe is not part of the front office, but he is absolutely the face and fabric of the franchise. He is asking to simply be aware of what’s going on rather than hearing from his agent or on the news, and to me, that’s reasonable.

    There are points for and against Buss, but one of his major failings has been communication. He has not communicated well with his star player. He has not communicated well with his sister (who shares in the blame). He has not communicated well with the media or fans, although he’s tried to improve. Some of these were not entirely on him, but the lack of proper communication with Kobe (and understanding how Kobe wants to be involved) is entirely his making.

    But beyond that, I don’t think this news story should be overblown. I think Kobe’s comments boil down to 2 simple things:

    1) An effort to motivate the FO and put them on notice, as he believes he did in 2007 (and has said so multiple times)

    2) A growing frustration at feeling disconnected from ownership. He was promised after the Mike Brown hire than he would be kept more aware of front office decisions. It appears, based on his quotes, that he was not kept in the loop in regards to Steve Blake being traded. Despite the contract extension, I think Kobe may feel underappreciated in that the FO isn’t keeping him involved.

  24. The quotes for anyone who didn’t see them, via ESPN:

    “You got to start with Jim,” Bryant said. “You got to start with Jim and Jeanie and how that relationship plays out. It starts there and having a clear direction and clear authority. And then it goes down to the coaching staff and what Mike (D’Antoni) is going to do, what they’re going to do with Mike and it goes from there. It’s got to start at the top.”

    “How can I be satisfied with it? We’re like 100 games under .500,” Bryant said. “I can’t be satisfied with that at all. This is not what we stand for. This is not what we play for. A lot of times it’s hard to understand that message if you’re not a diehard Laker fan. It’s hard to really understand where we’re coming from and what we’re accustomed to, which is playing for championships and everything else is a complete failure. That’s just how it is. That’s how it was explained to me by Jerry (West) and all the other great Lakers who have played here and that’s how I grew up thinking. So that’s just how it is.”

    …Bryant said he has “not one lick” of patience for the Lakers’ management team of Jim Buss and general manager Mitch Kupchak to rebuild the team into a contender.

    “Oh yeah, let’s just play next year and let’s just suck again,” Bryant said, sarcastically. “No. Absolutely not. Absolutely not. It’s my job to go out there on the court and perform. No excuses for it. Right? You got to get things done. It’s the same thing with the front office. The same expectations they have of me when I perform on the court is the same expectations I have for them up there. You got to be able to figure out a way to do both.”

    The italicized quote is the most problematic. It’s clear there’s no fixes on the FA market this year, and overpaying now will likely hurt us in the short-term and long-term. That all points to another lost year. Kobe has no patience for going through another year like that. The question will be if he spurs the FO to make moves in free agency they wouldn’t have made otherwise this year.

    Magic Johnson Tweets:
    –I love Jim & Jeanie Buss, but we need Phil Jackson to be the face of our great organization, the Los Angeles Lakers.
    –Kobe Bryant is the face of the Lakers’ team. Who is the face of the Lakers’ organization?
    –In signing Phil Jackson Owner Jim Dolan & Steve Mills are saying to the Knicks fans, they’re ready to win now!

    As usual, Magic comes off as a slightly unhinged old man. I put little stock in his “analysis.”

  25. LT hilarious

    I gotta agree it would be great to see things get back to normal.

    If Dantoni doesnt get fired by next season im afraid that we will be going down a dark path for a while

  26. This will make many happy (from PBT).
    ———-
    …according to Sean Deveney of the Sporting News (via Lakersnation): Bryant, sources said, has “no interest” in playing for D’Antoni next season, and wants a new coach in place for the ’14-’15 season.

    If true, that’ll be the end of MDA’s time here.

  27. Why do people think Kobe would not be a good general manager? He is a legendary player who understands the need for disciplined work. Its not that I have evidence that he’d be good, but the assumption that he wouldn’t be a good GM bothers me. So, why do people assume he’d be a poor GM?

    And, again, with Dr. Buss as an exception, I would assume that General Managers who had played basketball would have greater insight than those without floor experience. I guess my question is what qualifies Jeanie or Jim Buss, (other than money and nepotism), to put a good team together? It’s like David “no I have never played basketball” Stern. It bothers me.

    If I were completely without basketball floor time (ala the Buss family) I would welcome Kobe Bryant’s input to the FO. Damn, if Kobe told me anything about basketball, I would be inclined to respect his opinion. I think they should listen to the greatest player of his generation, M24 (it couldn’t hurt).

    GOOOOoooOOOOOOO LAKERS !!!!!!!

  28. Kobe wanting to go all in for a championship next year does not have to equal the Lakers going all in for a championship next year. He of all people should be well aware that his contract extension pretty much takes a championship off the table while he’s on the books. Unless people out there actually think he and Carmelo are enough to get there. I personally don’t think they’re enough to even get out of the first round in the west.

  29. There is only one vision and that was the vision Dr Buss left for the organization with clearly defined roles for Jim and Jeanie. To abandon his vision barely a year after his death would be perceived as bad as all this so-called “chaos” im taking a big wild guess and completely speculate but if Dr Buss wanted PJ running the organization he would had left that in place, he liked PJ the coach he didnt like the person fair or not, i believe there is a sentiment in Jim and the Dr before him that PJ is with Jeanie bc he wanted to “worm” his way into running the Lakers we dont know these people so i really dont know. And i think Jeanie more than Jim is the one making the rift more aparent to the public than it should be she looks like the one that wants to take over and subtly undermining her brother. There is no way that PJ is going to get the keys to the kingdom handed over to him is just not happening. Kobe said some big things today most of them true, but the FO has no obligation to tell him anything, it would be nice from them to let them know thas all. Kobe is under contract and under a really good one at that, so if the Lakers decide field a team with me and Ko,Robert,RR,Renato and the rest of the regulars on this site in the roster with Darius as coach he have to play, they got him lock stock and barrel. Not breaking the bank this summer is the wisest decision this summer take some more lumps hopefully a lot less than this season next season and the reload on ’16. Kobe saying that he wants MDA out makes me think they might hold on to him as long as posible out of spite, if that rumor is true. Interesting times ahead…

  30. People wanted to fire Mitch Kupchak right up until the day he traded for Pau. The front office is playing chess, while Magic, Kobe and the fans are all playing checkers.

  31. U got it Josh, i agree.

  32. darius: how did we get here? once again you throw out the latest newsworthy item; in this case: kobe bryant to miss the remainder of the season and before you can say the jello is jiggling, we’re off on another tangent or as of late, back and forth to the apparent laker organization’s head spinning into another dimension.

    passionate and compassionate people all speaking at once. makes for interesting times. would be appeciated as season’s end when we can rub our hands together and collectively, passionately and compassionately make our own personal picks as to whom to draft based on lottery position. a topic to be discussed in the near future and to be skewed into obvilion with varying degress of concern; aka opinion.

    speaking of which, that’s my opinion, today.

    Go lakers

  33. Fern,

    1. Nothing major has gone right for the Lakers since Jim Buss took over. That is obviously not all his fault, but it is nonetheless the truth.
    2. Jim Buss has never played or coached at any level. He did not win a competitive job search. He does not have a college degree, and parents, no matter how smart they are, are generally not 100% objective when it comes to their kids. The fact that Jerry Buss wanted Jim in charge does not mean, in and of itself, that Jim is going to be great at the gig. Power and acuity are not the same thing.

    It is fine to say, “Give Buss a couple of years” as MannyP and Darius did. The Veto is arguably enough for that. But the idea that people criticizing Buss are somehow silly or dumb, whether it’s Magic or some guy on a blog, is unsupportable. Buss has gotten zero results, and on top of that, the Kobe extension was widely mocked and is off to a very bad start. Your side is far better off saying “Wait and see” than suggesting that Buss is some kind of subtle genius.

    Buss needs to make some big decisions that you don’t need to explain–because they are working.

  34. “Mitch … traded for Pau” and Phil made it work. Who takes Phil’s place?

  35. Money does not always mean great insight.

    The Maloof brothers sold a very profitable beer distributor created by their father and decided they knew basketball and casino biz.

    14 years later they were forced to sell both due to big losses. We still do not know what Jim can or can not do. Needless to say I would have kept as many ex-Lakers, scouts and management people in place.

    Time will tell if the brains of this franchise was the Jerry West’s and Phil Jackson’s with a owner who knew the secret.

    That secret? I make sure the people running my companies are a heck iof a lot smarter then me.

    Heck I can barely spell and don’t look that good in a baseball hat.

  36. Telling Kobe to have patience doesn’t really make much sense. He’s on his last legs. He’s not interested in the distant future. The Lakers giving him a huge contract, and then saying wait a few years while we try to put a contender together only shows a lack of foresight and no relevant direction. Did they really think Kobe was going to be patient? He plays for championships, nothing else.

    For Kobe to be happy, the Laker FO has to make some bold moves. They don’t need a bunch of superstars. Kobe’s going to think he can win, as long as there’s something to work with. It doesn’t matter that the Lakers might be better off if they hoard their pennies and try to make a big splash a few years from now. That doesn’t work for Kobe, and that’s who they signed to all that money. Kobe isn’t just another hired hand. The Laker FO has made their own bed…

  37. Know what would be really funny?

    If Phil worked a trade for Kobe to the Knicks.

    Hahaha

  38. would hate to see kobe and melo playing together for the lakers next season. on the knicks? that would be a sign of us heading in the right direction.

  39. Im not saying that Jim is some kind of a subtle genius,please, far from it, all im saying is what i been saying all along, the FO has done some bold risky moves that didnt pan out, so did Dr Buss. If people think that somehow the Lakers are going to turn it around next summer and spend 200 mill to get every FA available because thats what Kobe wants they are sadly mistaken. Next year is going to be “one year contracts to everyone 2.0″ they are going to put a lot of rentals in one year deals around Kobe thats it, if they stay healthy our draft pick pans out and Kobe return to some semblance of his former self, they might make the playoffs. Thats about as high a ceiling this team will have next season. People forget that it took 5 years between Magic announcement and the Lakers getting Shaq and it took 4 more years before they won a championship, after Shaq got traded how long it took before the Lakers became contenders again? The Lakers rebuild/ reload faster than anyone else in the league we all know that 16 months for now the Lakers will be in posicion to makena major major splash. It takes time to build a team and people asking for instant gratification wont have it next season. This has been the worst season in Lakers history a complete nightmare, its also been the most injured riddle season in Laker history, probably one of the worst injury riddled season on the entire history of the Association. So forgive me if im not in panic mode and asking for Jim Buss and Mitch’s head. We have major decisions to make the next 2 summers those are the ones that are going to dictate this franchise future for the next 10 years not Kobe lashing out of frustration with the current state of the team. Got to give it to him they dont made them like him anymore, that fire that attitude and all the grievances he will have next season will make a very interesting story.

  40. i don’t see any problem with Kobe’s responses. they seem honest. they don’t belittle anyone. they call for unity in the FO.

    while i would never root for another team over the Lakers, if Phil went to the Knicks and did manage to get Kobe there next year, i’d love to see the Knicks win it all, just to spite the so-called “haters”.

  41. I also did not attend the 6 games he played this year, that will not happen next year.

  42. Fern, your comments make a great deal of sense.

    If Kobe is injury free next year, Nash can play 15min/game, and we draft a decent player, next year will see a great improvement over this year. However, it will still be a marginal playoff team. That will be improvement and that will not be enough for some on this blog. If Kobe is truly at the end, then this team may not make the playoffs next year.

    I wouldn’t expect Kobe to say anything else but we will win next year. A true playoff competitor cannot approach the game with less than aiming at a championship. People keep confusing Kobe with an owner or general manager – he is a player, and his mindset has to be in the ‘now’ and not in the ‘future’. That is also why none of us should confuse a great Kobe with a great manager – the two require different skill sets. Kobe may be great at something else in basketball, but that is something we won’t know until well after he leaves playing the game. Magic was a great player and a great business man, but he wasn’t much of a coach. That is also why we can’t extrapolate from Phil Jackson, the genius coach to Phil Jackson the GM – entirely different skill sets required. Perhaps Phil has what is needed, but I don’t want to throw over Mitch Kupchak in order to find out – and that is what would be required.

  43. Finally,
    I really liked the comment about Jeannie bearing, probably, the most blame for the media screaming of a Laker front office rift. It has been she and Phil Jackson who have left the most ‘breadcrumbs’ for the rest of us to pounce upon and rip apart the organization. Jeannie has apparently learned some of Phil’s worst – and most effective – habits of planting dissension in the media and sitting back and watching a bonfire start. All-the-while dropping hints that they were the only ones with the skill to put the fire out. Sort of like the arsonist who happens to be a fireman.

  44. Once again it also appears that alot a of people act like PJ wasn’t even offered or considered for the job – they went to him knowing that they wanted a firm decision and that it was time sensitive since it was already in season and from what was reported publicly by both sides PJ admittedly dithered (forget the rumours about exhorbitant costs or travel demands etc..) – and when he didn’t respond quickly they decided to go w MDA. The job could’ve been Pj’s right from the start – all the Lakers FO wanted was a firm commitment and he couldn’t give that immediately so they went another direction. you can say they handled it badly in terms of how they communicated things to PJ but he knew very well that they were looking for an definitive answer – not an “let me think about it and get back to you”.

    Craigs comments are right on.

  45. Jeanie has gotten off mostly scot-free because of her excellent relationship with the media. The K Brothers blog piece about a power play was the first I’ve seen (besides Lazenby’s accounts) to imply that Jeanie may be more than a potentially great owner wronged out of the head position. I do not know what the truth is. All I know is that she has an strong track record as a business executive, and no known track record in player evaluation or team formation.

    The video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fTw6k8rmaJs

    As always, the real quotes are more benign than the transcripted / excerpted versions.

  46. Fern,

    Can I play PF (undersized, obviously), jack up 5 three point attempts per game and not care about rebounding and defense? I’m in if I’m allowed to do that! ;)

    On a serious note now, this will be an interesting topic until the end of the season and Kobe’s comments made me wonder about the following:

    – Are those words an echo of the entire roster (or at least the veterans)? I’m excluding the Kendall Marshall’s and Bazemore’s since they’re young players trying to prove themselves and probably couldn’t care less about the state of the Lakers or where they’ll play next season, as long as they are under contract.

    – If so, how do the veterans look at the Jim/Jeannie rift? Do they have personnal preferences or they simply want the feud to be over?

    – Since he never mentioned Mitch, is it safe to assume that most of this chaos is due to the current Buss leadership that is imposing its will on the GM?

    – As the FO mentioned behind closed doors that MDA is not the future coach or are at least having doubts about it?

    – Does Kobe know, as most fans guess, that guys like Pau, Kaman, etc. are not staying if MDA is the Lakers coach and is bothered by it? Despite all the subtle jabs he takes at Pau sometimes, I believe that Kobe really likes playing with him and wants to play the remainder of his career alongside him, so… are the comments about MDA about keeping Pau?

    – Are Jamison’s words about MDA’s lack of adjustments and commitment to defense true? Also, does the current roster feel that way?

    This is a lot to think about and guess. We’ll have our answer soon enough…

    I’d just like to point one thing about the coaching staff. Granted that we have assistants that can cover the defensive side of the ball, like Rambis, but they are assistants nevertheless. The head coach decides if that defense is worth or not, allocates practice time and makes the rotations he wants during the game. While I greatly value the job of an assistant, if the head coach doesn’t think like you do and does what he wants, your work won’t account to almost nothing. I’m not sure if Rambis and the others are allowed to prepare what they think is needed defensively.

  47. -Kobe’s 6.3 assist per game average this season is his career best.
    -Jim Buss continues to lose credibility.
    -I wonder how both Kobe & Jim Buss now feel about signing that 2 year extension? Would either do something differently now?

  48. Thats right Jerke, PJ stalled the decision and it was reported that he wanted to coach only home games and most importantly, he wanted power beyond head coaching duties. We will never know the whole truth but the job was his to have. On our draft pick next summer people want the next Magic,Worthy or Kobe, i be happy if we get the next AC Green.

  49. I feel like I am the big bad villain from the movie Epic (Mandrake) when I post here.
    Go back and read my last two posts on previous threads what is happening now is what I said would come to pass my fellow posters. Even my older posts indicated this was where we were headed.

    1) I have said that the Lakers greats would not stand for this. We are talking about players who competed @ the highest level of the sport in some of the biggest games in history. You think its bad now if this continues wait till the others like Kareem, West, Worthy, Wilkes and even Pat Riley who in his heart still has some Forum Blue and Gold in him get to sounding off. @ Robert said it best “Unprecedented – we are in complete chaos” and this is what has caused Kobe and Magic to speak out now. I have never seen the Lakers in this way and I agree there should be concern in Lakerdom. Sidenote: It is officially LAKERDOM people…Chick Hearn called it that and thats what it is and has always been called. Lakers Nation is a website a fine one…this is my favorite personally (thanks to those who run it!).

    2) Kobe/Magic – I have been critical of Kobes contract but yesterday showed me he was worth every penny. Kobe right now is the number 1 active Laker…the head honcho. And by saying what he said how he said it showed that he is tuned into and acutely aware that the great Laker organization is devolving right before his and our eyes. I was watching PTI and Korn & Wilbon were dead on. They stated that the product on the court is garbage and not worthy of the Lakers. The main problem is that Jim Buss is not Jerry Buss plain and simple…BINGO!!! The only hope of this franchise is that somehow Jeanie & Johnny can force Jimmy to another position in the ownership collective. Six siblings share the 66% ownership trust and each has a different role.
    I think all tend to agree that the Jeanie/Phil combo would have been the better choice and move Johnny to Jeanie’s previous role. Jimmy should be running the D-League team.

    3) Phil – Jimmy hates Phil and this has hurt the Laker organization. Phil has always questioned Jimmy’s place and decision-making in the Lakers organization. Phil was not shy about letting it be known when he was with us and rightfully so. Now this has always been a tension on Jimmy and Jeanie’s relationship. Jeanie also has been openly questioning Jimmy’s management rightfully so again I might add. You see Jeanie not only has a better head on her shoulders and is definitely smarter than Jimmy but has the usually advantage of her man the guy she lays next to every night of being one of the greatest basketball minds EVER!!! You don’t think she asks Phil for advice and I’m sure he tells her what he would do. Wow! Kobe was right…how could we pass on Phil twice? ANSWER: Jimmy Buss that is how! I see King Lear and Henry the 8th wrapped all wrapped into one here. This could get really ugly with the Great Buss seemingly good intentions going really bad by equally trying to spread out his legacy among his children thats the King Lear in this. The Henry the 8th part is that every man wants his son to stride in his footsteps and the kings wish for a male heir drove him but it was his daughter that proved to be the greatest monarch in the history of England.

    3) The Future of Lakerdom – Yes my friends I have never seen the Lakers in this state. I am truly truly concerned for many reasons.

    – Ownership: This has never been an issue with the Lakers. Before the Great Dr. Buss we had the Great Jack Kent Cooke. Stability breeds success and the current ownership is neither stable nor successful. Jeanie has to emerge (ESPN said this also) or the Buss family selling this franchise to a new owner is probably the only hope here.

    – Talent Level: This is the worst I have ever seen it ever.on the Lakers. The 04/05 team was pretty bad. I think 74/75 was pretty bad also and of course the 92 thru 94 years hurt but that team had young players that had some talent Van Exel/Ceballos/Divac/Jones/Blount years and they won 53 games in the 95-96 season. We have a bunch of guys who are marginal (And I am being nice here) at best and do not belong in the NBA. One of the points PTI brought up is that historically the Lakers have rebuilt faster than anyone in the NBA but they don’t see a way out of this current morass anytime soon.

    – Draft/Future: I had previously said this should be the priority of this organization. We need young talent players that can play. We have young players but again I stress talent…NBA level talent at that. Find your guy in the draft or make a move. Short of the two guys from Kansas, I got a couple sleeper picks (Exum or LaVine, whom I would take first no question going to have to sit a couple years but watch out! Kind of like a guy we took in 96). Agreed no 19 year old is going to save this team….there is no Earvin Johnson is this draft but who knows and the players worth getting might stay in school anyway.

    – Coaching: MDA stinks fire him but as I have said before the Lakers would surprise me if they don’t keep MDA another year…Jimmy is stubborn like that.

    – Kobe: Kobe was right that the current roster is unacceptable period. And to put Kobe thru another year of this craziness would make for a very surly fading Superstar. Kobe is still a great player but he would need a lot of help to get to where he expects to be and it just isn’t coming next year. So, play out the contract and retire a Laker or ask for a trade to a contender. If I were Kobe I would go with Phil and Melo and see if I could get that last ring truly the only move that makes sense for Kobe. The Lakers locked themselves in with Kobe’s contract but the Knicks have cash and want to win…hmmm.

  50. Warren Wee Lim March 13, 2014 at 6:44 am

    We can only know the tip of the iceberg on the matter. We don’t know what kind of demands Phil was asking for and how long the team would have to wait before he decides. If he indeed asked to coach only home games, would you?

    It might’ve been Phil’s job to refuse, but he sure tried to squeeze more than what was offered.

    Once more, D’antoni gets flack because of our “hate” for him. He mumbles, his system, etc. But the biggest part of the hate is because he supposedly took the job from Phil. His biggest fault, to this very day, is his name. Is that even fair?

    Am I defending MDA? No. But the criticisms he gets that emanates from the hatred which we do not even know the reason or cause, is not fair. I choose to stand by the decision to hire him because it was Jerry’s decision. But such haters of MDA and praisers of the late Dr. Buss conveniently omit this fact.

  51. Warren Wee Lim March 13, 2014 at 6:49 am

    Kobe has done this in 2007. He made the pluto comments then because he knew his best years would be wasted. At that point, I was merely counting the hours that Kobe was leaving. Then Bynum blossomed, we were suddenly a very good team, then Bynum went down and we got Pau.

    Boom!

    This is 2014. Much as Kobe loves to be Kobe in his comments, we only get as much as his body permits. The front office needs to build a team accordingly, ensuring we get to contention the soonest, but also to do this right.

    Pressure is fine, but Magic is just not helping.

  52. we’re all thinking the same thing here: jim buss needs to make a public statement. not so much for his own sake and that’s a topic for another paragraph; he needs to make himself available from the position he currently has for the sake of the laker organization. like dariuis says jerry buss use to give an interview once annually. and if he were a smart man, and there’s no reason to believe he is not; he should address the media by speaking directly to the fans.

    because we’re all fans here, that’s the least he should do. after all, professional sports is a fan driven business. it shouldn’t take a fan to tell him that. it would do wonders for him, would be great for the laker organization and great for the nba.

    jim buss: we’re waiting. anything less makes you appear to be ostrich like in the sense that in the land of sand and gravel; you gotta come up for air sometime. now would be that time.

    Go lakers.

  53. Get a new coach that Kobe likes
    Resign Pau.
    Keep Farmar to play heavy minutes at the point.
    Let Nash be backup PG for one more year
    Keep Swaggy P and a couple others like Bazemore for the bench.
    Add one big name Free Agent
    Draft Exum if you are lucky enough to have him fall to you otherwise they better get a player who can make a real difference but outside the top five not likely.

    There are no real pieces to make a trade that makes a difference so the Lakers are in limbo for the next two years, but they cant put a crap product on the floor.

    This team wont be turning things around until after Kobe leaves and his money can be spent on Free Agents with no guarantee of getting anything as teams like the Knicks with Phil and others means players arent automatically going to come to LA.

    Mitch is doing the right thing and bringing in failed or disappointing young talent hoping they can turn it around while they are cheap. He has no other options.

    What else really can be done. Trading for Dwight and signing Nash in last ditch attempt to get Kobe his 6th title was a gamble that failed but it was the right thing to do at the time so when you go all in and crap out, you have to ride out the storm. While riding it out, you put as much talent around Kobe as you can and just see what happens.

  54. Kobe is scared. Rightfully so. I think the achilles injury is the death blow to his career. Not that he won’t try, but he’s not coming back to anything approximating his former self and that will be evident to everyone including Kobe following an injury plagued season next year when he retires.

    He’s an anachronism now. The hope that he could stay to pass the torch came and went with Dwight who was the same goofy, fun loving, jokester that Shaq was, and Kobe has always been too much of a serious dude for that. It’s best for Kobe to do what great Lakers do when they’ve reached the end. Just fade away.

    It’s okay. Magic wasn’t able to pass the torch to anyone either. We had to start all over again after the HIV retirement thing. The Lakers FO didn’t panic. They made the moves they were supposed to make for a few years until the real opportunity to acquire a face of the franchise player emerged again.

  55. Craigs comments are right on

    Nah. Jim is running the show; if he wanted to bring Phil in and give him some real power, he could. Phil may have too big an ego to accept anything less than the top dog role, of course, but one of the many holes in the FO Defense Narrative is that:

    1. On the one hand, we hear that Jerry Buss put Jim in charge and that we can like it or lump it. Jerry Buss had the vision, and Jim has the power, and everyone who dislikes the FO should just keep quiet and let the man do his work, since we are all just know-nothing fans anyway and that Phil would be a bad GM and Kobe is just a player etc etc. and it is all noise no signal etc etc.

    2. But on the other hand, we also hear that everything Phil, Jeanie, Magic and Kobe say is a massive, huge, deal, with implications that undermine the organization etc. etc. etc. and that Jim is powerless to hit back. Even Brian Kamenetzky, one of the smartest observers of the Lakers scene, buys into this sometimes.

    It would be nicer for Jim Buss and for guys like Craig and Jerke if no one bagged on Jim in public, be it fans, radio guys, intrernet media guys, or Lakers greats. But what is undermining Jim Buss’ regime is that

    1. None of his big decisions have worked.
    2. The team has one of the worst rosters in the NBA.
    3. Jim Buss made a very questionable decision in giving Kobe that extension, and it looks very bad right now.

    Until 1 and 2 change, and the world is proved wrong about 3, the guy in the big chair is going to take some heat–and he should.

  56. Kobe is going nowhere. He signed a huge contract HE negotiated that is so big he is virtually untradeable. He is angry. He wants another ring before he calls it quits (probably in two seasons) and I think he is finally realizing that the rebuilding plan may take longer than that to bring a ring back (3 or more seasons). It sucks, but I have to think that this certainly played a factor into him taking max money to remain a Laker.

    I personally think that having Phil on the Knicks is a blessing for the Lakers. With Phil tucked away with a competitor, Jeannie has no choice but to tow the party line or keep her mouth shut. In addition, it will shut up the “Jim needs to step down and let Phil run the team” haters, although I suspect they will replace Phil’s name with George Karl, Jerry Sloan or some other unattainable guy. At the very least, it will keep them busy thinking about other dudes that could do a better job than Jim and Mitch.

    In terms of Phil, he will learn exactly how Jim and Mitch feel. Phil will be reminded on a daily basis that the New York media is obsessed with the Nicks and every single move he makes or does not make will be scrutinized ad naseum. If he signs a good FA or makes a trade, he will be hailed as a hero when it happens so long as it works out, but torn to pieces if things do not work out in the end, regardless of how good the trade/signing was at the time it was made (much like Jim/Mitch have been with all of their trades and signings). Over the course of this season and next, he will learn exactly how difficult it is to run a team when the expectations set on you are so high that nothing short of a championship will suffice. On top of that, the Knicks will have over $91 million committed to salaries for next season. Talk about trial by fire. I have a feeling that this type of experience may humble him a bit and at least provide some understanding/empathy for Jim, which could go a long way in helping to reconcile the relationship between Jim and Jeannie.

    If after the next three seasons, Phil turns out to be an FO savant and Jim/Mitch utter failures, you can bet your money maker Jim will step aside due to the pressure and Phil will be welcomed with open arms, an open checkbook and a share of the team – of course, if he and Jeannie are still together.

  57. Kobe has no leverage now. It remains to be seen if he can return to some level close to what he was. Phil and Jeannie overplayed their tired hand and Phil is off to the Knicks. Good riddance. Hindsight being what it is, the deal to Kobe would be a different one if it were on the table right now. Premature for sure, but understandable for all the reasons that have been given. Biggest mistake was the deal for Nash, but that mistake can be mitigated by the stretch provision option. Too bad about the picks, but cap space for free agents will be the way forward. D’Antoni has provided the fans with an entertaining but flawed team (and system) run by guys fighting for their NBA lives. I think management did an excellent job of fielding a team of cast offs that might yield a few pieces for next season and beyond. The high draft pick if it falls in the top 4 or 5 could be the break we need. Not worried, we will return to elite status; it’s going to take a few years though. Enjoy the journey.

  58. Hey Kobe….maybe you should’ve taken less money….

  59. As I have said a few times, the biggest problem with Kobe’s deal–and with the spin we are seeing on it here from people trying to defend the FO right now–is that the second year of the deal doesn’t fit in with any kind of plan at all, other than trying to contend again by then with Kobe as the top guy, and I think his ire at the presser reflects that. Also, Kobe doesn’t need leverage. He has 48.5M. The Lakers needed leverage, and they gave it away.

    If they had given him one year, it would be seeing how it goes,owning that LeBron James is not coming here, giving KB (maybe) a nice send-off, and then having a clean cap for 2015. By that time, they would have:

    1. Performance data on him.
    2. Performance data on the draft pick.
    3. A clear picture of the 2015 FA market

    This would give them leverage and information on which to decide what if anything to offer him for 2015-16.

    As it is, though, they will have about 30-35% of the cap committed to him when that market emerges–unless he is forced into retirement. That will affect FA recruiting in any number of ways, and this is after Buss and Kupchak made many public statements about the need for financial flexibility.

    I don’t blame KB for taking the coin, and I hope I am posting 16 months from now celebrating the kickoff of the Love/Wiggins era and Kobe’s chance at Ring 6 on his last ride. But the criticism being leveled at the Lakers FO right now is not just noise and smoke.

  60. I really don’t get why people keep talking about Kobe’s deal. That deal doesn’t hamper the Lakers one bit. Lebron isn’t going to leave the stability of the Miami Heat to come to LA. Once you accept that truth then what is the problem with Kobe’s deal?? The Lakers are still in position to do the most they can do with their current Cap space based on available free agents. The Lakers problem has been continuity. Moving away from the triangle without having any idea what philosophy to move to next has been the Lakers undoing. That lack of vision is what led to the Mike Brown hiring. (By the way, before anyone interprets this as me piling on Jim Buss, please note that Jerry not Jim is who had final say on the Mike Brown hire.) If anyone wants to have a problem re-signing Kobe, it shouldn’t be about the salary but rather the front office making the decision to keep Kobe while having a coach who seems to not have an ability to play to the strengths of his best players (except if the player is a PG) . The Lakers should rightfully lose as many games possible to end the season. In the new NBA, young cheap talent to complement your veterans is the way to go. However, Kobe is right, the Lakers need to choose who they want to be. No matter how good a GM Mitch is, he has to get talent to fit a system not get players and force them to play in a system that doesn’t utilize their strengths. Go Lakers!!!

  61. @rr that’s a cheap shot lol. I’m not defending Jim or his decisions but just stating blankly that none of his decisions have worked out or that this is the worst laker roster ever w/o taking into account context when there was a lot of other factors involved is weak.

    If you want a sign that Jim couldve maybe worked some thing out w pj then going to him and offering the job in the first place was that sign. They wanted him to commit immediately as a coach and he dithered. So all 3 decided (mitch, Jim and Jerry) to go w MDA.
    It’s not about taking Jims side etc… it’s about keeping the record straight as to what happened and both parties said they had talks and pj wanted more time (I’m not mentioning unconfirmed rumours about travel,power etc..) and when laker fo including jerry buss felt pj dithering didn’t help, they went another way.

    I might not always agree w your posts but I respect what you put down for its coherency and forethought. But this attitude that the job was never offered/stolen from pj is destructive and false. And yes I am in agreement w other posters that yes, now that pj is with the knicks hopefully the destructive sniping from jeanie, other background players will die down.

  62. The Lakers are on their way to their worst record in franchise history. Last week they suffered a nearly 50 point loss to the Clippers. They’ve had several “worst” moments this season. Last summer they lost a marquee player for nothing. Now that player has helped move the Rockets from a fringe playoff team to a legit Finals contender. So its not about team Jim vs team Phil/Jeanine.

    The team is horrible. The coach is horrible. The FO is generally perceived to be in disarray by media types, former players and current players. It hit me in the gut a few weeks ago when Kevin Love was quoted saying the T-Wolves had a better team than the Lakers. The point is more of the same won’t get it done. When a situation is this bad multiple things need to change. One decent draft pick is not turning this thing around. Players still need to be nurtured and developed. Free agents need to be wooed. Scouts need to find cheap and effective talent.

    I’m not saying Phil is the savior and Jim is the devil. But I am saying the team needs a massive overhaul from the talent on the floor on up to the office suites. Because this entire debacle is pathetic.

  63. Jerke: Resisting clicking on the Nash link on ideological grounds. Summary?

  64. @bryan lol – no worries. Just a 3rd video in the grantland series following his rehab etc… and they just play some of the clips from talk radio where it’s just pretty hypocrtical of fans to call up and say he’s stealing money from the Lakers etc,.. and should just walk away right now and that eh intentionally played only 10 games this season. Stuff like that, and just talks about wanting to retire on his own terms. And when asked about the money, he said “yes of course I want to get paid my contract” – meaning that even if he medically retires he still gets his money even if it doesn’t count on the Lakers books etc…

    The second link is just Dwyer addressing the video and some of the comments by fans etc… and the current mess. There’s been a couple other writers on twitter who’ve seen the video and are amazed that so-called “fans” would actually voice opinions like that.

    Even if i don’t agree w someone’s opinion on here, if i can picture them calmly saying their post out loud in a pub across the table to me while sharing a drink, then i respect it – but when you listen to some of the guys ranting in the clip – it’s like “dude seriously…

  65. True, the griping about Kobe’s contract somehow preventing the Lakers from doing what they want to do is missing the point entirely. But we know how some will grasp at any idea that makes Kobe the villain, so it’s noise to just tune out.

    The point is that the FO is now asking for patience, not because they don’t have the money, but because they don’t see what they need out there being available. Kobe has been under the impression, or so he has stated, that Laker management is a proven commodity, and that they’ll do what’s needed to make the team truly competitive. Competitive next season. He trusted. Personally, I questioned why he was so confident. Maybe he’s finally seen the light, and he doesn’t like it. But if the FO wants their star player, current face of the franchise, to be happy, then they’re blowing it. You don’t come out with excuses for next season already. You do everything you can to pull the team out of this garbage we’ve been watching. I doubt Kobe is expecting management to put an All-Star team together. Just get it together – coaching, players, philosophy – and stop being an embarrassment.

  66. Get well soon Kobe.

  67. So the Lakers went with D’Antoni because he didn’t have to think about it. Now that’s a smart way to hire a coach. LOL. There was no big rush. If you want the winningest coach in NBA history, already part of the Laker family, a few days may just be worth the wait. I don’t know what else PJ demanded, but what seems even more ridiculous is the Laker FO being so unsure of the direction they wanted to go, that in a matter of hours, they went with one coach who is diametrically opposed to the other.

    Phil’s going to have time to put his stamp on things in NY. He’s probably strong enough to ignore the media there during the difficult process of turning things around. It’s not like coaching. He’ll be behind the scenes. Who knows how he’ll do under the circumstances, but I think the Knicks have reason to be optimistic. And players are more likely now to want to go there and stay there.

  68. the guy is just unlucky. if he owned secretariat, the hind leg would have collapsed at pimlico during the stretch run. if he were around back when he could have owned seabiscuit, we’d be asking what’s a seabiscuit? if he ran the basketball operations of the los angeles lakers, back when, his father would be saying he couldn’t possibly be this unlucky…..

    don’t buy it? there must be a reasonable explanation somewhere…..somehow, some way out of this nightmare.

    Go lakers

  69. It is interesting to note that the only people Phil Jackson has had trouble with during his NBA career are his bosses. Even Jerry Buss didn’t entirely trust him and kept him out of any management responsibility. If you are in charge of an organization and would have Phil report to you – in any capacity – that would be something a responsible owner should certainly take into consideration.

    While this doesn’t rule Phil out of consideration, I – as said before – wouldn’t let Mitch Kupchak go, just to see if Phil could work a little magic. If that is the choice, I would certainly support management in saying goodbye to Phil Jackson.

  70. “If you want the winningest coach in NBA history, already part of the Laker family, a few days may just be worth the wait. I don’t know what else PJ demanded, but what seems even more ridiculous is the Laker FO being so unsure of the direction they wanted to go”

    i don’t think the FO was unsure of the direction they wanted to take – there was a lot of quotes that they wanted to pursue a return to “showtime”/more up and down type of basketball but they did approach PJ despite the rifts out of deference to him and the fanbase who was immediately clamouring for his return. have to remember this was a supposed superstar team on paper that just started the season 1-4 after going 0-for during the preseason – so waiting things out wasn’t really an option and there was tremendous pressure to get a coach in and turn things around immediately. Given the team that was assembled any NBA coach would’ve jumped at the chance and immediately said yes and work out the details later – but Phil was unsure if thats what he wanted (at best he said the idea of returning to coach that team “intrigued him”) at the immediate moment. I don’t give much credence to or necessarily believe that he made crazy power demands – but i think he just misread how much leeway that Jim/Jerry along with Mitch were willing to let them twist in the wind – or they didn’t communicate that to him (prob a bit of both) – and they made their decision. Between the dithering and desire to move away from PJ/triangle relatedness, i think that prob made for a pretty quick/easy decision behind the scenes. If PJ said yes right away, we might be learning how PJ would deal w devastating injury woes instead.

  71. Jerke,
    The flip-side to that is the guy they hired didn’t start coaching for 5 more games and couldn’t be as involved in practice as a normal coach because he was coming off knee replacement surgery. So, if they wanted a guy hired to “take over” right away, it’s not like D’Antoni filled that bill.

    I will say that reports have put MDA’s hiring at the feet of Jerry Buss, rather than Jim. And that the idea of a return to “Showtime” has long been something that came out of “sourced” reports from people “close to the organization”. So, the MDA hire certainly makes sense in that context. Also, while I said that I would have welcomed Phil back at that time, I also wrote that I liked the MDA hire. Fact is, it hasn’t worked out.

  72. I’m not outraged by the current talent that’s been on the floor or by 50-point losses because these things are not surprising when considering the injuries this year, which were beyond fixable. It’s one thing to lose Derrick Rose or Kobe Bryant and put a team together to compete without him; it’s another thing when everyone on that Plan B team starts blowing out body parts too. Once that happened, it was onto planning for the offseason. So I don’t get angrier at the FO for what’s out there right now; no FO could’ve fixed this – they could’ve actually made it worse by trading for bad vets with bad contracts to only eke out a few more meaningless wins. The FO’s relative inactivity after all the injuries does not reflect poorly on them, in my eyes. It doesn’t mean they’re complacent or that they are telling fans and Kobe to wait a few years. We will only get a better sense of what their goals are this summer, when they will have a chance to do something or not. Maybe they’ll wait another season, or maybe they’ll sign some guys, but we’re not going to know for a few more months. What they’re doing right now (nothing) means nothing.

  73. @darius you’re right, totally forgot about MDA being injured but i think having a direction in place immediately even if MDA wasn’t physically there yet helped make it a decisive move by the FO. That and MDA was 100% in from the start.

  74. David h: “the guy is just unlucky” You think?
    rfen: “If you want the winningest coach in NBA history, already part of the Laker family, a few days may just be worth the wait.” Exactly. What was the big rush? Oh yea – we had to quickly undo the previous bad decision we made – Mike Brown. Hopefully this time we will have more time if the change is made in the off season. KB’s comments have made me more optimistic that MD’s days are very limited.
    nimble: “Get well soon Kobe.” Seriously. I mean – my “nightmare” post of 2 years ago wasn’t this bad. In my “nightmare” I was going to be rooting for a team stuck as the “6th” (been a while rr) best in the NBA and I was going to be rooting for Kobe’s records only. Now we have no Kobe and the team is 15th in the Conference. What was I thinking? Oh yea – that was before we dissed Phil, traded all our picks, and decided to run “entertainment” instead of basketball.
    T Rogers: “Because this entire debacle is pathetic.” Yes – complete chaos
    jerke: rr’s posts are not cheap. This is one of the worst rosters ever. This will be one of the worst records ever. The VETO, the Nash deal, the DH saga, and the coaching decisions did not work. Those are all facts. Is there “context” yes – but the facts are what they are.
    gene: “Hey Kobe….maybe you should’ve taken less money” Maybe so, but who gave it to him?
    MannyP: “you can bet your money maker Jim will step aside ” So Phil has to successful in NY to convince Jim that he should do what 26 out of the 30 other owners are already doing? Why? Also: “Jim needs to step down and let Phil run the team” This was never my mantra. Mine was simply “Jim needs to step down” Phil has nothing to do with it.
    Jerry Buss: He was the best owner of all time. He was not without mistakes. However trying to pin MD and MB completely on him, while still saying that we need to honor his genius master plan for Jeanie and Jim is a bit of reach. Either keep the man on his pedestal like he deserves or don’t. Don’t do it selectively.
    Mitch: Stop bringing Mitch into this. Mitch is fine. He should run things without Jim’s involvement. Why does Jim need to be involved in basketball decisions? Stop using Mitch to defend Jim. He is fine and should stay where he is.
    Fern: I am not available for your starting five. I am going to buy the team remember. rr is also not available – he is my GM. Ko is also not available as he will be in charge of the Cheerleaders and Beverages. Don’t think I could be a good owner? Here would be my meeting with rr: Knock on the door and rr walks in. I say: What do you want? rr: Well Robert we need to review the roster… Robert: cutting rr off, upgrade the roster – spend as much as you want – don’t worry about taxes – keep me posted. Anything else? rr: Well there is the coaching situation. Robert: cutting him off again – did you get rid of what’s his name? rr: Yes Robert: Good then hire the best man available in your opinion. – Now go do your job – I will be in my box – and send in Ko with the wine list.

  75. Robert – wasn’t referring to rr’s post as cheap – just him lumping some of us together as “jim Buss” sympathizers lol. I don’t agree w a lot of Buss’s decisions – just prefer a measured response instead of the “off w his head mentality thats all lol

  76. Jerke: Fair enough – I enjoy your posts. rr is as reasonable as it gets. I am more of the “off with the head” type of guy : ) There is also logic to my position as well. After all, most monarchy’s end with someone losing their head : )

  77. Robert: it has been widely reported by multiple reliable sources that Jerry made the final call on Mike Brown and MDA over Phil. You are free to ignore and trust your guy that it was Jim’s call if you would like, but it flies on the face of what is widely believed as fact.

    You say you just want Jim to step aside, but you have never mentioned anyone but Phil as a candidate to run the ops side of the biz. I’m curious what you would support now that Phil is out of reach.

    Also, not sure what people mean by “step down” when talking about Jim. Even Dr Buss was a hands on guy. Dr Buss, like any other NBA owner, never gave his head of BBall Ops (Jerry west) free reign to sing, trade and draft players on his own or to make coaching hires by himself. Anyone who believes that ignores reality. Ultimately he signed off on everything and provided direction to the FO guys. He made the call to hire Riley and Phil. He listened to Jim when he recommended Phil back a second time, and re hired him. He was publicly insulted by Shaquille, and then Shaq was traded even though Jerry West advocated having Kibe and Shaq work it out. He made the final call on MDA after Phil’s seemingly non-committal. Magic’s inference that Dr Buss let West run the show without any interference only shows how little the guy understands the dynamics of an NBA front office and team ownership. We must all Remember: the guy that owns the team always calls the shots.

  78. MannyP: You name the date when Jim took over. I think using Jerry’s date of death is a little ridiculous, but you name it. We can then evaluate what has since happened without having Jerry to blame. Careful – the later the date you choose, the worse our record gets. I thought I was doing Jim a favor giving him credit for 2012. Further, I have said this a hundred times. Jim can stay owner and give Mitch full charge of basketball operations. That’s it. We do not need anyone else. And yes – just like Jerry – Jim can be involved for the max contract guys, the big trades and the coaches, but that is it, and that is all Jerry was involved in. He had way too many girlfriends and poker games to worry about minor contracts and minor deals. Jerry West and Mitch handled that.
    “Magic’s inference that Dr Buss let West run the show without any interference only shows how little the guy understands the dynamics of an NBA front office and team ownership.”
    You are not following your own rules. Magic owned a chunk of the Lakers and was an Executive for Years. He has been around basketball and the NBA his whole life. He clearly knows more than two guys on a blog doesn’t he? : )

  79. Jerke,

    I have taken context into account many times, notably The Veto, which is why I said that it is reasonable to say, “Give Buss more time.”

    It is also reasonable to say, “The Lakers are bad and Buss’ decisions have not worked.”

  80. Robert: you are partially right on Magic. He know how to be a player, but his 5% ownership hardly qualifies him as an executive, particularly when the majority of his time while he owned the team was spent making speeches and managing his own businesses again, you may ignore reality if you wish.

    As far as stepping down, no way any NBA franchise on the planet will let their GM have the final say on all decisions. Do you really think trades, signings and coaching hires are made in any NBA team without the owners input and approval? Really? Again, you are choosing to ignore reality. Don’t believe me? Remember the Veto?

    As far as when Jim took over, it’s hard to say. But again it’s been widely reported that the Dr had the final say on Mike Brown and MDA, so the old man was at least overseeing and approving of some decisions until that point. Of course, Jim recommended them, so he shares the praise and criticism of any decision.

    Also your ent on poker games etc is almost insulting. What you ate basically saying is that the dr did not care about day to day ops. Well, if that’s the case, then Jim’s been running the show with Mitch far longer than you give him credit for.

  81. @MannyP – Magic is way more qualified to make both business and basketball decisions then Jim Buss will ever be. That fact that he had owned only %5 of the franchise is not the issue. He is a Laker first and foremost! He cares and is passionate about the Lakers, so his opinion and insight are to be respected. The fact that he has made about $700 million off the court speaks to a business acumen that clearly Jimmy doesn’t possess. Successful owners make business decisions and let their SME’s (Subject Matter Experts) run the day to day and make the recommendations. Jim Buss does not appear to be a good businessman and is trying to make personnel decisions when clearly this is not his expertise either. He should start listening more to Mitch and quit trying to be the Jerry Jones of basketball. We keep saying that Dr. Buss made the decisions to hire Mike Brown & MDA but clearly this is the Lakers showing solidarity and a father wishing to give his son a good start @ running the Lakers. Make no mistake Jim Buss has been making or trying to make the decisions for the Lakers for years now. Dr. Buss moved more to Consigliere role quietly years a go as his children assumed more responsibility within the organization. Do you not remember the battles that Phil and Jim Buss were having over personnel? Jim Buss has calling the shots for years now.

  82. LordMo- Magic is more qualifed than a guy working alongside Dr Buss, Mitch Kuptchak and Jerry West? Really?

    Separate the player from the FO dude. You are getting your love of Magic mixed up with the duties of a front office. Makes no sense.