Well, it never stops for the Lakers. This season has been tough because of the myriad of injuries the Lakers have been getting. Add another one to the list.
The Lakers’ latest press release has Jordan Farmar out for a minimum of four weeks.
EL SEGUNDO – Lakers guard Jordan Farmar had an ultrasound test and was examined by Dr. Luga Podesta this morning after injuring his left hamstring in last night’s game versus the Milwaukee Bucks. Results show that Farmar has a tear in his left hamstring, which is expected to keep him out a minimum of four weeks.
Farmar left Tuesday’s game early due to some “tightness” on his hamstring. Now we know why.
This leaves Kendall Marshall, who was just acquired a couple of weeks ago because of the ridiculous number of injuries the team has received, as the only point guard left on the roster. Even Xavier Henry, who was a swingman playing the back-up point guard role, is out for at least the next week because of a knee injury. It looks like Marshall will play extended minutes until one of the point guards return. Steve Blake is due to be back in a few weeks from that elbow injury. Kobe Bryant, who played point guard in his short healthy stint this season, is out for a month or so. And we all have no idea when Steve Nash is coming back.
Regardless, this is just painful. All the injuries racked up has made this Laker season even tougher to watch. Farmar wasn’t exactly the savior of this franchise; the Lakers just wanted someone who can actually play point guard. And once again, we’re down to one. At least, it’s better than having NO point guards?
Farmar is averaging 8.7 points and 4.7 assists in the 22 games he has played this season. Get well soon, Jordan.
it’s so sad, but that’s just how it is. good times don’t last forever, but then neither do bad times…
Mark Sigal says
The legendary good luck of Jerry Buss apparently did not rub offf on Jim Buss. The team doesn’t need better leadership. It needs a priest and an exorcism.
such short memories…
Jerry Buss had times like this, too.
Exactly Mud. Jerry Buss put some stinky teams out there too, we are down now but its to be expected, its going to take a couple of years but we will back on top. When it rains it pours for this team this season, Farmar out again, the blows dont hurt anymore.
Hahaha … the blows dont hurt anymore
Only a flesh wound…
Renato Afonso says
So, I guess that those discussions we were having two weeks ago don’t really matter anymore. It doesn’t matter what the coach does, what system is in play nor if the players are suitable for the system we play, we simply don’t have enough healthy NBA-ready players.
And since we couldn’t afford a losing streak like the current one, we might as well aim at the lottery and try to develop some of the guys in our roster to see if we can keep them with us next year. I just hope that someone teaches MDA how to use our bigs so that they want to stay with us for next season…
I don’t have a degree in sports medicine, but I do have something called COMMON SENSE! The Lakers front office, training, and medical staff allowed Jordan Farmar to return early from a ham string injury before he practiced at full effort!? Really? And then they played him 30 plus minutes on his return!? Really? Is anyone surprised that Farmar is now out for four weeks, four weeks! Had they just given Farmar another week to start practicing and then gave him limited minutes to gain strength and conditioning, at this juncture he might be able to play for 25 plus minutes without a recurring injury.
Yes, sure attack me for not being a Doctor of sports medicine. But your own mother wouldn’t let you go out to play all day after having a 100 degree fever the day before, she made you regain your strength first. You’d say, “Oh, come on, Mom! I feel fine!” You thought she was being overly cautious with you, but what you didn’t know at the time was, that fever could turn into pneumonia and cause you to be bed ridden for another week or two.
How the Lakers are treating their player’s is not merely a matter of tanking, this is a matter of messing with players careers and means of earning a living.
Pau might be on to something by not caring what management or fans think about his upper-respiratory infection, and not playing. It’s clear that whoever is at the helm of this team, they do not have the player’s best interest in heart. I can’t imagine any other team in the NBA that plays their players extended minutes night after night, when they first come off the injured list, but the Lakers. Kobe should never have been allowed to play point guard for 30 plus minutes after a devastating injury at the age of 35, and Farmar should not have been allowed on the court prior to a full week of practicing at full speed. Period! Now every other fan can stick their head in the sand, and pretend that there isn’t something foul taking place in LakerLand, however I won’t.
Call me psychic but I predicted that Farmar would come back and play 2-3 games with maximum minutes, and then go out with the injury reoccurring.
Maybe the Lakers dynasty years will be in the past, much like the Raiders whom have not been able to replicate their heydays since their last appearance in SuperBowl XVIII in 22Jan1984. Ten years from now will Lakers fans still be looking for relevancy in the NBA? In ten years will the Lakers be the answer to the trivia question, “Which L.A. basketball team made their last finals appearance since the 2009-2010 season?”
Old jazz favorite, “Everything must change, nothing stays the same, everyone will change, no one stays the same. The young become the old, and mysteries do unfold, for that’s the way of time, nothing goes unchanged!”
Somebody teach MDA to use our bigs? I thought they knew what a boxout and defense is since at least 8 years old. Outside of Jordan Hill sometimes our bigs are worthless and i hope they are all gone after the season.
The Lakers have a great shot at a top three pick for the next few years. If you care about this teams chances for a championship you need to root for every loss to secure these top picks to help attract star free agents three years from now. We are combining the OKC and Heat business models to hopefully assemble a one of a kind super team. Star draft picks with star free agents.
Tra December 2, 2013 at 5:29 pm
… Sad to see that Farmar caught a bad one. He was really starting to turn it up. And unfortunately, a torn Hamstring sounds like something that will take more than 4 wks to heal sufficiently.
Tra December 24, 2013 at 2:31 pm
Although I am far from a Doctor, I have to ask – Returning to the court a little over 3 weeks from a ‘torn’ hamstring? Torn? Sounds quite suspect to me. It’s understood from my end that the ultrasound indicates that the tear is “completely healed,” and it just may be that he’s a fast healer, but like Double R alluded to, JF’s return definitely seems a little premature.
If one was to check the dates from the 2 posts above, it’s easy to ascertain that I am not surprised in the least about Farmar’s hamstring injury. Unfortunately, he has no one to blame but himself for this one and I’m pretty sure that even he’ll admit this. Hopefully, it’s a lesson learned.
Jerry Buss was our main owner for 31 years. During that time, the team made the NBA Finals 16 times, and won 10 Titles. We qualified for the playoffs 29 out the 31 years. In 24 of the 31 years, we finished the regular season with better than a 600 record. So that is a record of making the Finals 50% of the time, winning the title 33% of the time, finishing with a 600 record over 75% of the time, and making the playoffs over 90% of the time. Quite simply he was the best owner in the history of professional sports.
Jim Buss has been the top guy for three years (counting this one). I think everyone is painfully aware of our record during this period. By the way – if you don’t think Jim was in charge in 2012 (he was by the way), then that makes the record worse. So whether it is lack of luck or lack of skill – it is what it is.
Chris J says
Farmar had been playing well this season, so hopefully he recovers soon and can get back to earning his next deal. With Blake’s contract ending I wouldn’t be opposed to the team re-upping with Farmar, but that’s just one of many pieces in play with the front office.
The injuries that have hit the team are just crazy at this point. Every time it seems like something is going OK, another leak springs in the dam. All the players can do is carry on, and hopefully the excessive string of bad news will turn into positive news come lottery time. Too many things had to go right for the Lakers to make the playoffs this season; with the injuries this severe, the unintended tank route seems to be the only viable course.
P. Ami says
Fern, I’m pretty sure you’ll get your wish regarding Pau sometime very soon.
And yes, Jerry Buss made mistakes and ran into bad luck. You don’t get much worse luck than losing an all-time great at his position player at the end of his prime, as Jerry did with Magic. He had some bad teams and compounded his problems by hiring bad coaches. Del Harris, Mike Dunleavy, Randy Pfund, Kurt Rambis… None of these guys are any better than MDA. Some are worse.
For every Vlade Divac, Eddie Jones, and Fisher pick by Jerry West; folks seem to forget he also drafted Ruben Patterson, Sam Jacobson, and Devean George. Lets not look at the previous generation of front office moves as a golden brick road leading to magical players every time. Making smart moves, getting into good position, and swinging at good opportunities only give you a chance. Do it often enough without making stupid moves, and you come out ahead.
In this world, there is only one man who thinks Derek Fisher is still a useful NBA player and still, Kupchak managed to get Jordan Hill for him. Who here saw Pau coming in Dec of ’07? If you’re name isn’t Mitch Kupchak, then you didn’t. The CP3 move was pure genius. The move for DH12 was the right move. They didn’t work out, but they were the right moves.
We have a competent front office. This transition is going to be tough. We are all going to have to get used to not having a marquee super-star on the team for a little while. The ship will be righted and stop scapegoating people for the natural course of things. It is time.
Get well soon, Jordan.
Good post P.Ami –
This season is just a write off. Support the guys who are on the court and hopefully they continue to play hard and MDA can put an entertaining product on the court w the crew that he’s got – but at this point no body is going to complain as the losses pile up. MDA, Mitch, and Buss need to sit with Kobe and just tell him to chill out and not to come back this year – it makes it harder to chase some of those all time records – but if he wants a real chance to rebuild and get back to the playoffs as a legit team then this is the quickest route.
As for those complaining about not making the playoffs etc.. – you don’t just want to make the playoffs if you’re the Lakers – you want to contend. Being mediocre and just slipping in as a 7th/8th seed doesn’t do any good and just makes it harder to rebuild. Trash the FO all you want – but they swung for the fences w the D12/Nash moves which is what you want your FO to do – just didn’t workout – but at least they tried. Now they’ve effectively cleared the decks and thru circumstance are going to be able to build with substantial cap space and possible a top 3 pick in a loaded draft. Injuries have thrown a bone to the Lakers – they don’t have to “tank” purposely and can still at least put forth an effort. MDA hasn’t lost the team and the guys are playing hard (aside from meeks sniping at Pau etc…) and if the Pau/Bynum swap/waive goes down and they get some young talent back, you’ll see a significantly younger and better team next season. A one year hiatus from the playoffs in exchange for a good draft pick and a bunch of cap space to reload? and this is only one season removed from being considered a serious contender? If they draft well and sign good guys – Lakers will be legit again – and much quicker than a lot of other clubs (lookin at you NJ and NY!)
P. Ami says
Robert, Jerry Buss bought a team with Kareen, Nixon and Wilkes already there and with the #1 pick in it’s back pocket that he used to draft Magic. He is due credit but the current ownership was in a different set of circumstances when they took over. Between ’88 and ’00 the Lakers only made it to the final round once, and lost. You are being very selective with the data you are pointing at. There has been no egregious error made by the FO or ownership since Dr. Buss stepped away. I can’t think of an indefensible move. Lastly, it was Dr. Buss’ decision to put Jim in charge. You think Buss is the greatest owner in sports, how about letting that selection play out.
All these injuries to our point guards, this is called the CP3 curse. The league needs to compensate the Lakers. This league is now a point guards league. Look at the Suns, with two quality point guards, they basically just ran over the Clips. Mitch needs to accumulate some more second round picks. Maybe he can also find another Nick the quick at 37th pick. Lakers seriously need a break!
Lakers still have talent…coach are not giving them enough time…Pau…Kaman…Hill…Marshall.. Young.Have Williams ,Kelly and Meeks as your sub’s…
I had a long post about the FO internet wars over at SSR, trying to look at both sides. Your post represents one side of the Jim Buss argument:
His dad picked him to be be the final decision-maker for the franchise, and his dad almost always knew what he was doing. Plus, Jim has been around the Lakers since he was a kid, learning the business, and was part of the decision-making team that put together the outstanding 2008-11 teams.
Jim Buss is a college dropout who has never played or coached basketball at the professional level, or AFAIK at any level. He simply does not have the same level of qualifications that most other NBA decision-makers do and he got the job mostly because of his last name. Plus, he has kind of a goofy public image–a man in his 50s who wears a baseball hat everywhere.
The thing is–both sets of statements are true.
Thanks for the re-post. I know that Gary Vitti is a Lakers legend in his own way, but IMO the Farmar thing, along with everything else that has happened on the injury front that the last two years, means that the Lakers probably need to take a look at their medical and training teams, some of whom, it should be noted, were hired by Jim Buss.
so much for a happy new year…
P.Ami i totally agree about Jim Buss and the Lakers situation as a whole. People forget that Mitch is the best gm in the entire league. All the moves made the last couple of years have been the result of the VETO. I knew back then that it was going to get years to recover from that. If the veto did not happened odds are that we would had a CP, DH and Kobe core with the future secured. Did not happened bc of external factors and we still dealing with the wreckage of that.The FO tried to make bold agressive moves to secure the Lakers present and future they did not panned out so its times to cut our losses and take another aproach. Patience is the name if the game.
The NBA landscape has changed so much over years since the glory 80s. Most of these franchises are owned by billionaires who do not run or operate the franchise themselves. This is sort of a side show or side business for for them. There are very few like the Buss family run the franchise as the main business. These other owners don’t have to share their other business income with the league, but the Lakers do have to share their revenue with the entire league. So while NBA owners cry about a level playing field, but in truth, they are just taking advantage of these premier franchises. Many of these new collective bargaining agreement rules are aiming at the Lakers, preventing the Lakers to dominate the league. However, in the long run, if these other owners succeed in putting down premier franchises like the Lakers, they will ultimately suffer in decline revenue sharing. Remember how Dan Gilbert cried about the CP3 trade? Over all, I don’t think the league is better off having a rising Clippers than having Kobe along with CP3 facing the heat in the finals. Parity should be ensured by sound management rather than bending rules to beat down one or two franchises. If the Lakers continue its downward path, the NBA will suffer in viewership, and soon these owners will find their revenue plus luxury taxes share checks shrink faster than the ticket sales. To be fair, Jim Buss is thrown into a very difficult landscape where other owners can’t wait to beat down the Lakers, even at the expense of league overall success. NBA wants to sell the star players, but you will need star franchises too. The current version of parity is more like mediocrity. Lakers, Clippers, and Rockets, three teams split the stars who could have been on the same team, Kobe, CP3 and DH12, are now 3 teams that are good, borderline good, and very bad teams. Does that make NBA more appealing? I really doubt it.
Free Chris Kaman.
I’m so sorry for Jordan Farmar and the team as a whole. In a prior post about 2-3 weeks ago, I mentioned my own experiences with hamstring issues. Those injuries (one when I was in college, the other 25 years later) took a while to heal. My 2nd injury (when I was in my mid 40s) seemed to take forever. In fact, it took a full 6 months. I thought it would never get well.
Hamstrings are a very sensitive part of the body. One can never be too careful.
I wish Jordan Farmar a speedy recovery. But…he should take his time getting back. He has his whole career in front of him.
P Ami: There was no selectivity : ) I covered the entirety of Jerry’s and Jim’s career. What did I omit? Selecting certain years within the overall is selectivity and that is what you did, true? : ) A first time pro golfer could shoot 80 in his first round as a pro and the say: Well Jack and Tiger have shot 80 before and it would be true? Jim Buss “inherited” a team with Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, and 1 year removed from being a two time champion. “no egregious error”?: Well I would say Mike Brown, Mike D’Antoni, Losing Dwight Howard, Kobe’s Extension all qualify. There are more – but it is New Year’s Day.
rr: Nice list. I graduated from college, played college basketball, I do not wear a baseball cap, and since you know what I look like, I will let you judge whether I have a goofy public image or not : ) Even if I do, I clearly have a few advantages over Jim. And I know you would rather work for me than Jim in your GM job. I will be in my box partying and signing checks.
Let players heal, no sense rushing anyone back at this point, just let them heal.
I’m in total agreement with you, and for that matter C.Hearn, in regards to our Medical/Training staff and I believe that you posted something within the last thread taking them to task. They definitely need to be evaluated. However, I’m a firm believer that it’s the player, first and foremost, who knows their body best. Especially as it pertains to Muscles. Farmar mentioned, after the Philly game, that he felt some discomfort in the Hamstring. It should have registered with him right then and there – if it hadn’t already – that, regardless of what the ultrasound revealed, the muscle just wasn’t ready to adhere to the type of action that he was asking it to perform. We all know that Hamstring injuries are one of the worst injuries for an athlete to have because they’re nearly impossible to gauge. And more then likely, because of our PG situation, he felt pressure to return sooner than he would have liked. Hopefully, as I mentioned earlier, he takes his time this go around. Besides, IMO, this season is a wrap and judging by the fact that the FO have held discussions with Cleveland about a Pau for Drew swap, they probably feel the same.
Warren Wee Lim says
The best the Lakers could do right now is further develop that players that we have. Oh and trades buying or selling will benefit as it will either help the team win or have more guys to develop within.
as fae as i cam see, people are constantly trying to make their pitiful lives sparkle by either identifying with a winner, showing themselves to be is good company, or laughing at a loser, especially one from a higher social status, showing themselves to be godly. it’s monkey behavior.
it’d be better, in my opinion, to just accept the irrationality of rooting for a team and just root for them. i’m all for criticism and disciplinary correction when it can help. that time is when someone is slacking. when someone doesn’t measure up, but one is forced to rely on him, one would be better served in building up his heart so that he will try and not become totally discouraged.
and people, the CBA is a minor problem. it seems major now, but in a couple of years it won’t matter. salaries are coming down and the Lakers have plenty of money. players will want to play for the Laers because Lakers will get paid. only the Lakers can afford to pay their free agents if they perform. i hope that the team doesn’t self-destruct before next year, but if they play hard, cheer for them. when “winnin’ time” comes back around it’ll feel that much better.
as fae as i cam see, people are constantly trying to make their pitiful lives sparkle
As many of us do at one time to another. Here at FBG, though, we are just a group of fans talking about our team.
Now they’ve effectively cleared the decks
Not quite. Kobe will be the highest-paid player in the NBA for his age-36 and age-37 seasons and will take up 35-40% of the cap.
The FO arguably deserves some more time, for many obvious reasons. But they need three big things to go their way:
1. They need to nail this draft pick.
2. They need to land a big fish in FA or via trade over the next 2-3 years.
3. They need to be right about Kobe’s extension, in the sense that the organization moves forward, one way or another, during the duration of the deal.
rr: Nice list. I graduated from college, played college basketball, I do not wear a baseball cap, and since you know what I look like, I will let you judge whether I have a goofy public image or not : )
hahahaha, good one Robert! Now, does wearing a Metallica T-shirt and screaming your head off while flashing the standard devil´s horns hand gesture count as having a goofy public image? 😉
(just ribbing ya, o ye metal of head!) ((you will of course recall that yours truly is a funky JB cold sweat get on da groove goofball !!)
I gotta side with Warren here. Our beloved Laker Blue & Gold squad should hunker down and work on developing our young guns, eyes on the near (hopefully) future.
As for Jerry & JIm, when the Doc passed away a handful of articles set the tone right from the get-go: the `transition years´ were gonna be a gosh darned ugly ride.
Just wish the injury bug (like that ol´ boll weevil from blues fame) would move the heck on!
All the best to everyone here, top to bottom, for `014 – peace y´all
Warren Wee Lim says
I’m trying to come up with a post of my own and I’m going to need FBGers input on it. Those of you who wish to participate, kindly send me an email of the answers to my questions. Thanks in advance.
I’ll start off by giving a scenario. Its impossible to predict what will happen so lets use an assumption. Those that find this exercise silly can ignore me.
Assumption #1 – Lakers trade Pau to Cleveland. Reduce Payroll. Acquire 2 2014 2nd rounders.
Assumption #2 – Lakers convince Nash to medically retire, paying him his full 2015 salary but those will not be counted in the Lakers books.
Assumption #3 – Lakers finish as the 10th worst team in the league (same as current standing) and therefore own pick #10. Lottery happens, we don’t jump, we stay at 10.
Assumption #4 – Nick Young opts out.
Assumption #5 – Lakers will not be trading the pick up or down and the pick will have an assigned salary of 2.3 million (same as this year’s 10th pick)
Assumption #6 – Lakers keep the 2 2nd rounders but do not sign them salaries till after Free Agency.
KB24 – 23.5M
Sacre – 0.9M
10th pick – 2.3M
total of 26.7M
Assumption #7 – Cap Space is set at 62.5M. (Larry Coon’s estimate)
Cap Space: 35.8M
Assumption #8 – No Melo, No Lebron, No Wade.
Q1. To whom would you offer and how much?
Q2. Who will be your 1st call if you were Mitch Kupchak?
Q3. How much would you offer Jordan Hill, Jordan Farmar, Xavier Henry and Wesley Johnson?
Please email answers to: “email@example.com”
Thanks to FBG for allowing this.
PS. Darius, your input will be highly important. I’d appreciate it. Thanks again.
So muscle tears are now the FO’s fault too?
Never ceases to amaze me how some of you will rationalize anything and everything as the fault of the FO and specifically Jim Buss.
As far as the argument that is Gary Vittis fault, remember that the guy has been here for 29 years so if you argue this is his fault, then I guess you blame him for Kareem’s injuries, Magics illness and Kobe’s ankle, but choose to ignore Fishers, AC Greens and Kobe’s hardiness. There is no evidence that Farmar was pushed to injure himself. None. This is terrible news and I get that we try and rationale the irrational, but sometimes a freakish injury streak cannot be explained.
P. Ami says
Robert, selective may be the wrong word for it but comparing a 30+ year track record with a 3 year track record, by comparing a team with a declining Pau, LO, and Kobe with a team that had 7-8 good Kareem years, a rookie Magic and Nixon/Wilkes in their late primes, you are selecting myopia. By neglecting to recall that Jerry Buss oversaw 11 years of ringless seasons, that he hired Mike Dunleavy, Kurt Rambis, Randy Pfund and Del Harris- you are selecting only to recall the great periods in Jerry Buss’ career. By neglecting to recall Karl Malone’s injury and Magic Johnson’s early retirement, you are selecting not to consider Jerry Buss’ bad luck.
Maybe you think paying to sit in a box in STAPLES means you have to insist that external situations not affect the Lakers or that the realities of aging not affect their players. The CBA is real. Age is real. The veto was real. DH12’s brain chemistry is real. You don’t have to give credit to Jim for his good moves. He has clearly overseen quite a few of them over the course of the last few years. You are selecting to neglect that reality. So, maybe you are not being selective but I can’t really think of a better word for your data collection.
As per ESPN, while not dead, it looks as if the talks have stalled.
“The major issue, sources said, involves the Lakers’ desire to get an additional asset from the Cavs .. The Lakers are interested in also getting a young prospect or first-round draft pick as part of the deal. The Cavs have been reluctant to part with either.”
mud: “one would be better served in building up his heart” In my case, I practice this all of the time with players. I cheer and encourage, and I do not think yelling at players during games is productive. I do occasionally yell at coaches during games, but have rarely done so with MD in spite of a number of opportunities. Commenting on a blog is a little different as it is not during a game, we are discussing things as oppose to every post being “Go Lakers”.
rr: “The FO arguably deserves some more time” Serious Question (only because I value your opinion – not because you have been soft on this issue – cause you have not) How much time? The last 3 years are being blamed on the VETO and injuries. Next 2 years are already being written off as rebuilding projects, so that is a free ride. So – let’s say 4 years from now we are on the cusp of breaking the infamous 8 year record and not even contending. Will it still require – more time? Will it still be the CBA?
MannyP: I think you put a hex on Shaw. The minute you warmed up to him, his team completely falls on its face. Please do not start liking B Scott or L Hollins : )
Purple: Were you at my last concert, because that is way too accurate !
5D2: “To be fair, Jim Buss is thrown into a very difficult landscape ” I agree and the same can be said for MD. The landscape was in fact so difficult that anything less than one of the best at their respective roles, would probably not have been successful. Just wait until somebody tries to take Kobe’s place. I might change some of my personal policies about yelling at players : )
I’m all for developing talent but as far as the Lakers go, the only young guys definitely under contract next year is Sacre not sure maybe Kelly? I’m kinda hopeful the Lakers will be seeking out upgrades and not just trying fill in the holes again.
P. Ami: Nice post. Jerry Buss was not infallible, but he was the best of all time. Your list of coaches is interesting. Mike Dunleavy coached us for two years, made the Finals once, and compiled a 616 winning percentage. Not going to put him in the Riley/Jackson/Kundla group, but not too bad. Kurt Rambis coached for exactly 37 games and compiled a 649 winning percentage. He was replaced by Phil Jackson, which is not exactly a blight on a resume. Del Harris (the mere mention of the name makes me cringe), coached for 4+ years and compiled a 659 winning percentage. He was kept too long and deserved to be fired (please note the winning percentage). Lastly – we have Randy Pfund. He clearly did not turn out to be head coaching material, so yes – a mistake. He will however be the answer to a future trivia question: Name the only “other” Laker coach in history to be on the bench for more than 40 games and have a losing record (just an amazing stat – I triple checked it to make sure it was correct).
No offense guys, but we should collectively table the discussion of the FO for posts that deal 100% with the FO or that evaluate the FO.
I just feel like blaming or absolving the FO of injuries, failed trades,etc is counterproductive to what is great about this site. If you hate Jim Buss, nothing is changing your mind. If you like or don’t blame him for our current maladies, then nothing will change your mind either.
I just feel that we bog down the discussion with so much FO talk. I know im guilty of it. For example, look above. WWL is trying to get folks engaged about realistic options based on where we are, but some of us (myself included) would rather play the “its Jim’s fault” or “no, its not Jim’s fault” game. Enough is enough guys.
Going forward, I pledge to engage in pro/con FO arguments only when the post itself deals with the performance of the FO. Period. If the post asks or deals with moves the FO should make, then I wont’ say one peep about Jim and Co. But if the posts asks whether criticism of the FO is warranted or lacking, then its on. I would encourage some of you to follow suit.
MannyP: I hope you did not put a hex on Warren’s list now : ) I will respond to WWL
WWL: Your list appears to be homework for a GM. However there are a couple of items missing.
A) How do we want things to be for Kobe and what do we want his final years to be like?
B) Are we committed to MD and his style? Will we know this before year’s end?
C) What year are we realistically targeting to “seriously” contend for the title?
D) Are we willing to pay taxes?
rr is my GM and I would answer all of these questions for him before I asked him to complete the rest of your list. I think it would be hard to do so without those questions answered.
P. Ami says
Thanks Robert, you make good points but…
I’ll not cover the Randy Pfund thing as we both agree. Dunleavy went to the finals but I credit the talent he coached. Magic (insert “coach on the court” meme), Worthy, Perkins, Vlade, Green, Scott, Thompson… I mean, I try to give credit where it is due, but he had a pretty loaded team there. He also failed to adjust to PJ putting Pippin on Magic. Maybe there was nothing he could do but he didn’t even seem to try. Once Dunleavy went to the Bucks, his four year stint saw a below .400 record. Then he moved to Portland where they had talent again, and he won again, but made some big tactical blunders, culminating in losing a 15-pt lead with 12 minutes to go in the 4thQ of Game 7 WCF in 2000. Then he moved to the Clippers. He had losing records (bad luck with Livingston) and one really good season where another blunder cost his team (inserting a cold Daniel Ewing with the series on the line) advancement. Since I see the coaching hire bar being set at MDA, I think Dunleavy does just limbo beneath it. I do credit MDA with changing offences in the NBA, Dunleavy did nothing of the sort.
Del Harris is widely credited with not coaching an offensive system. This lack of coaching a system led to a lack of crunch time cohesion. The Lakers of his tenure were the most talented Lakers since the middle 80’s. I sometimes dream a what if of the Glen Rice trade never happening. Kobe at the 3 (which is something PJ liked) and Eddie at the 2. I also would have like to see how a good coach would have protected Nick Van Exel from Shaq’s scapegoating. Plus, having Elden to spell Shaq, in my opinion, would have been good for the team as well. Anyhow, my point, and yours as well, Del Harris was a bad hire.
Finally, I grew up watching Rambis play for the Lakers. Even as a white kid growing up in the suburbs, I didn’t need Rambis on the team because of the symbol of white, lunch-pail grittiness he represented for many fans of the team. For people who weren’t there, the 80’s were a time when we still looked for narratives of the white, right-way teams from Boston against the schoolyard black-stylings of Showtime. It was great marketing and a stupid notion, like so much else we see on TV. I didn’t need Rambis for that. Being in my teens at the time, I didn’t see much sense in thinking one symbol needed to be better than the other. Both teams were all-time great teams that worked hard, had great court-vision, loved to compete at the highest level, could do all the little things, and rose up to make big plays when it mattered. Rambis did all that and the only aspect of his whiteness that mattered is that his bruises where more obvious. I loved Rambis for his willingness to get beaten up and to dish it out. He got down low and fought. You need guys like that. It’s what I love about Jordan Hill. All that said, if you look at his record with Minnesota, the man was an abject failure as a head coach. Granted, he had limited talent to work with, just as he was limited in talents as a player (but still very, very good. It’s still surprising to rewatch old games and catch Rambis fly to the rim on a break, catch a bullet from Magic, and finish strong). The flaw with any bad coach starts with how he gets his team to buy in. He completely failed in getting the Wolves to do so, while he was there. He couldn’t get the team to buy in and compete with the intensity required of their limited talent. That team never took on the personality of their coach. Couple that with a similar failure as interm coach in LA, and I think we can view Rambis as a bad coach too.
In my opinion, Dr. Buss made two great coaching hires and they won him 9 of his ten championships. There rest were either mediocre or bad coaches. I’m not sure what to say about Westhead. He won a ring but again, the circumstances were a bit odd and before my time.
Going back before my time, and before Dr. Buss’ tenure, I would put Sherman down as a great Lakers coach as well. He introduced the team to the fundamental aspects of practice that the Boston Celtics used, and the players credit that with the ’72 championship.
To answer your question about how long we give Jim… I think we need to see a playoff team after next season and a fringe contender the year after that. By fringe, I mean a team that is clearly up and coming. You can see the pieces coming together. If they make a big mistake in the next few seasons (sign Melo or draft a bust) then I’ll start to complain. I happen to think the Lakers will get a 1st rounder for Pau, be it this season or for next. Either way, there is a smart way to rebuild and we are in position to do so. If the Lakers nail their next few high picks, manage to get Love next season and then KD the season after that, I fully expect all the naysayers to set up prayer blankets in front of STAPLES and direct their genuflections towards Mitch’s and Jim’s offices. *commences to hold breath*
If you check my post, I conceded that Vitti has been here a long time, and the injuries may not be his fault in any way. But given how Farmar was handled and the other stuff that has been going on, I think it is reasonable to ask the question.
The Lakers at the moment are failing, miserably. They are a bad team, dealing a with a rash of injuries, and have limited assets going forward. When any organization is failing, in any endeavor, it is reasonable to look at
a) How that came about
b) Who the leaders are
Doing that does not mean that the leaders are being disrespected.
Some posters, both here and at SSR, find such questions presumptuous, impertinent, and pointless. I agree that if framed in certain ways, they can be. I do not agree that this is the case if the questions are framed reasonably.
And, on another level, when a team is where the Lakers are with the type of personnel that they have, this, along with eyeing college guys, is going to be a topic of discussion. The Bucks and Jazz have very young, talented guys like Favors and Antetokounmpo to watch develop; the Lakers do not.
I agree that there is both a pro-and-anti Jim Buss case. I have made both cases, and laid out both cases. I do not agree that people shouldn’t talk about the FO.
As I said last summer, when an NBA organization loses Chris Paul to a league ruling and Dwight Howard uncompensated in FA, recovery is almost certainly going to be very, very difficult. Historically, Lakers champions have been anchored by HOF inside-outside combos:
Paul and Howard were supposed to be the next in the line. It almost happened, but almost doesn’t count. The FO does deserve great credit for seeing it and leveraging assets intelligently to that effect. That, if nothing else, means that they deserve more time.
But the “We’re the Lakers; we will find a way” stuff is nothing but faith-based reasoning. I think the fan base as a whole is still in the process of grasping that reality, based on what I read and hear.
Discussing how much of the current situation is the fault of the FO and how much is not is worth doing IMO, but either way, Jim Buss (and probably not Kupchak, and maybe not D’Antoni) is not going anywhere, and even if you brought in Phil Jackson, Jerry West, and Daryl Morey’s best stats guys to take over this weekend, they could not create a superstar out of thin air by Valentine’s Day.
So, looking at the three things on my list above that need to work out for the team–the 2014 draft pick, FA recruitment, and Kobe’s deal–I think that we need to see where the org is in two years. By that time, we need to see that the draft pick is going to be a player, that an impact FA (likely Love, if it occurs) is here one way or another, and that Kobe’s deal worked for the organization on the basketball court–not at the turnstile or in terms of PR and branding and revenues–but on the basketball court.
If these things have not happened, even if the team is making some pretty good decisions on the margins, like they have over the past few months, then I think much larger groups than a few intense fans who like to talk online will be taking a hard look at Jim Buss.
You make some good points, but your take is pretty slanted in some ways. After Magic had to retire, Jerry West did an excellent job overall of converting low picks into assets and creating a competitive team that Shaq wanted to join and used one of those assets, Vlade, to get Kobe.
So, yes, Jim should get more time–but he also needs to make some big decisions that work.
rr, heck of a post at 11:15!
LOL, no I wasn´t at your last concert but I´m jamming with a couple of folks right now & one of `em is an 18-year-old metal head who´s always got on those types of Ts! So the picture in my mind fit in snuggly! (i play the drums – Charlie Watts, Ringo style with a dash of the GREAT Elvin Jones whenever I can muster it!)
I will tell you what I believe the FO thinks. I myself can’t really answer these.
A) How do we want things to be for Kobe and what do we want his final years to be like?
Playoff team in 2015 and fringe contender in 2016–like P. Ami says.
B) Are we committed to MD and his style? Will we know this before year’s end?
I think Buss is committed to MDA, yes.
C) What year are we realistically targeting to “seriously” contend for the title?
I don’t think that is answerable. The Lakers have no long-term building blocks for a quality playoff team, much less for a contender. For the team to be back in real contention within 3-4 years, they need a Paul George-type score in this draft, Kevin Love in FA, and a third guy to come here some other way–trade, second-tier FA that develops etc. I do not see any point in speculating about Durant. He plays for an excellent organization and has no ties to LA.
D) Are we willing to pay taxes?
I think they will be, yes, if they think doing so can definitively help the team to contend.
Robert: Here are my comments:
A)Well, I would hope we all want him to finish on top, after a five consecutive championship run, but the reality is that we should hope he gets one or two more shots at glory with maybe one chip before he retires
B) I disagree with rr. I think we are committed to him for to the end of the year. but not long term. I think once our draft position is defined and they see who is on the FA market at the end of the season (and what coaching talents are available), the team will make a choice as to where to keep him one more year or not. If we completely strike out in the draft and with free agents, then I think it is likely that we stick with him unless a very good coaching candidate appears.
C) I agree with rr. Lots of things have to line up for short and long term success, and the odds get better long term than short term. So I think we are in a rebuilding phase that may last a few years. My hope is that we get one more chip before Kobe retires (say withing 5 years), but I think that long-term the prudent approach is 5-7 years. I guess if we had to make a comparison, I would say this is similar to year 2 of the post-magic era. I just hope we find a gem (or trade for a gem) in the draft as we did with Kobe on a quicker timeline than during that era.
D) Yes. Copy and paste rr’s comment above.
P. Ami says
rr- Thanks for the props, and I agree that my takes are slanted. I’m trying to balance out the anti-Jim faction. Or, at least the factions that look at his hat and the caricature and run with it. I’m just trying to show that the guy deserves a real chance to keep swinging, rather than trash him for the last 3 years that, in my opinion, he did all possible to mitigate (or at least okayed moves that were reasonable to expect to mitigate the situation).
I don’t know the effects Jim’s firing of scouts during the lockout has had. I don’t know how well he deals with the people in the organization. I, personally, don’t think PJ was the answer at the time of the MDA hiring (I’m partial to the Van Gundy bros. But, I don’t know that they were an option). But, I can see how some people think PJ would have solved the organization’s problems (not sure how he would have gotten Pau and Kobe their former footspeed back as they had lost it by Phil’s last season. Anyway…) . I am certainly not trying to suggest that Dr. Buss didn’t preside over a golden age. I’m just not seeing a strong argument that Jim is causing a precipitous decline or that Dr. Buss always avoided such periods. So, I bring up the various periods of decline during Dr. Buss’ tenure and the various errors and bad bounces, just to provide some context and perspective. If it seems like I’m complaining about the late owner and propping up the current one, I hope it’s now better understood that I know the former was one of the greatest ever and the latter is still growing into the job. Jim has a lot to prove but I’ve seen signs he is up to it.
david h says
note to kendall marshall: take heed; wrap your elbows, your knees, your lower back and your hamstring as you are about to embark into a dark hole called starter of the los angeles lakers point guard position. one can never be too careful, especially this season.
oh, and while you’re at it; ankles should be taped to the max……..
and now, starting at point guard for your los angeles lakers, the mummy.
P. Ami, Jim bus is not the only problem but he is part of the problem. He and Jeannie need to reconcile for us to move forward. I think its obvious dantoni is not the right guy for us (did you see how long it took him to adjust last year?). The problem is that there probably isn’t a better coaching candidate besides one of the van gundy brothers. Jim bus has done a decent job and needs time.
Wow – these are not posts you guys are writing – they are like well thought out stories – awesome.
MannyP: I somewhat agree with you as far as the teams position on MD, although rr could be right as well. In any case, I think we “should” take a wait and see approach. This of course means that much of the plan can’t be made until then. Do we get typical low post big men or stretch 4s who shoot the three? Do we get half court guys to go with Kobe or run and gun guys? All dependent on the answer to the MD question. Ironically, we have KB locked in so if we keep MD, we already have somewhat of a miss-match.
Kobe: I am really curious about the following: Do you actually continue the public face of getting Kobe a ring or do you just coast it out? The ruse can only go on for so long.
P Ami: If you read both of our posts we’re not that apart except for the “future” part. Jerry Buss had a phenomenal career, but were there periods over 31 years where we were down? – of course. Jim has had a three year career and we have had poor results. If you think that will change – then I hope you are correct. With regard to the coaches of the “90’s”: First off we are talking about the worst decade in Laker history and a personal nightmare for me. So I will not defend any of them- especially not Del Harris who I hold personally responsible for costing us 1-2 rings. That said – they were all 600+ coaches (except Pfund). Lets compare that to current day. What are we going to say about this decade in twenty years? I will go out on a limb and say it won’t be good : ) By the way – did you see that stat? 67 years and nobody other than Pfund has losing record with more than 40 games coached It is simply amazing (MD is 2 games over 500 as a Laker at present).
“Faction”: I am part of the “results” faction, whether it is the Lakers or anything else. Do not tell me the excuses why your business is not profitable, your stock is going down, your team is losing, or your website does not work. Fix it or move aside and let someone else do it. If you have a track record of being successful before – then you get more leeway, but if you are a new comer, you need to perform now or get out.
Who is Jim Bus?
Good post. I have always felt that the whole thing went something like this:
1. Buss and Mitch had a grand plan to get Paul and Howard–this was actually reported on ESPN after the lockout.
2. They got Paul.
3. They lost Paul.
4. Howard decided not to demand a trade here since the Lakers didn’t have Paul. Howard would have demanded a trade here absent The Veto.
5. The team got through 2012.
6. Orlando had changed management and had given up on keeping Howard.
7. The Lakers gambled on Nash as a sub for Paul.
8. They then got Howard, thinking that Nash, supposedly the anti-Kobe, and the World’s Greatest Teammate, would be the guy to connect Kobe and Howard, work with Pau, and make Howard want to stay.
9. It wasn’t working under Mike Brown.
10. They hired D’Antoni, seeing him as the best coach to bring the team together, due to his relationship with Nash.
I also do believe that Jim and Phil can’t stand each other, and that that, plus Phil’s salary demands, as well as questions about his level of commitment due to his age and health, swung the decision to MDA.
I have never felt that “The Old Man wanted MDA so they could go back to Showtime” is a good defense of Jim. First, Jim was officially in charge. If he didn’t want to hire MDA but did it anyway due to the wish of his dying father, that would make a nice scene in a sports movie, but doesn’t say much for Jim as a leader. Second, if Jim did want to hire MDA to “Go back to Showtime”, then that doesn’t say much for him as a basketball man. On the day MDA was hired, the Lakers’ starting 5 consisted of four guys 32 or older, one of whom had just fractured his leg, and a fifth guy coming off major back surgery. Two of their top reserves were 36 and 32 years old. Any reasonably well-informed fan could look at that group and tell you that Showtime was not the way to go. If Jim Buss didn’t know that, then the Lakers are in big trouble. So, I think it is more likely that it went down as I described 1-10.
I think we are committed to him for to the end of the year. but not long term.
You may be right, and if that is in fact the case, then I think that they should have fired him last summer to try to keep Dwight Howard, as McMenamin suggested right before Howard officially walked, when McTen said that the Lakers last-ditch shot to keep Howard was to can MDA and offer Phil the job.
Adam Formal has a very interesting story on Team Steam on how the Lakers got to here they are today.
It’s a must read.
P. Ami says
rr, you really think Dwight’s problems with the organization were solved with MDA getting fired? I think Kobe was also on his hit list.
I’ve spoken to a guy who does commercials with basketball players. He said Dwight was on a shoot over last Christmas bad mouthing Kobe and Pau, like he was the man in town. I don’t think Dwight gets it. I don’t think he ever will. I watched people talk about LeBron and his lack of this, lack of that. I saw a guy learning to win. Dwight, in my opinion (biased as it is) is not the same level of talent nor the same personality. He had issues in 2008 on the Redeem Team. He was a horrible teammate when leaving Orlando and was a bad teammate in LA. I believe it’s just a matter of time before things unravel in Houston. All that said, Howard wanted Kobe out too and that was not going to happen.
P Ami: As to DH: Yes – it was MD and KB. In MD’s case there was no salvaging it. In KB’s case at the end – there was no salvaging it either. However – appropriate management by Mitch and Mike during the year could have improved this relationship. Jerry West and Phil made the KB – Shaq thing work for years before it blew up. An ordinary GM and coach and we may have gotten zero rings out of that tandem as well. After all – Kobe was an arrogant #8 and Shaq was eating everything in sight and spending all his time going to clubs : ) How did we even win those rings? : )
rr, you really think Dwight’s problems with the organization were solved with MDA getting fired?
I don’t know. I do know what McMenamin wrote, I do know that the Lakers have the worst interior defense in the NBA and no high-end prime-age talent, and I don’t really see the point in keeping D’Antoni if it is just for this year.
My guess is that there would have been more Dwama and then D12 would have bailed anyway, but if, as Manny suggests, the org is only lukewarm on MDA, then I would have cut ties with him. MDA is not a bad coach, and D12 is not Shaq–but again, the NBA is a Talent League.
This gets back to the Robert scenario–that Phil is the only guy within the org’s reach who has the gravitas to have brought Kobe and Howard to a detente of sorts. It’s a moot point now.
Darius Soriano says
I told you all a few threads ago that comments would be deleted. If yours was, you should think about why that may have been and then stop doing what you did. If I have to ban commenters, I will.
Warren Wee Lim says
Thanks to the 2 guys that sent in emails. Id like to take this post as an opportunity to thank 2 of my Laker family members for shedding light. Made me realize I wasn’t irrelevant 🙂
The research will need more info so if any of the others wish to chime in, please do. I appreciate it.
Put me down for, going into the ’15-’16 season:
SF-Someone who fits/Kobe
Would be nice if they could swing a 1st rounder from the Cavs for ’15 and tank in ’14-’15 as well, ending up with a Cavs 1st rounder and their own pick, which they’d keep over the Suns if it’s a 1-5 pick.
Of course, the one problem is Kobe. And not his salary, as there would likely be enough room for both Monta Ellis and Rajon Rondo. Problem is instead that Kobe won’t tank. So they’ll have to surround Kobe with D-League talent next season. Well, Kobe, Randle and D-League talent. And then if they can snake a 1st rounder from the Cavs and keep their own as top 5 protected, well, then make Oubre the someone who fits. See:
For one more, this pick here would go the Suns at 13, but at least it’s the right guy:
P. Ami says
Props to all the people writing above. Obviously Darius is moderating some chafe out of the thread, but it’s been good to see reasonable give and take on the subject.
Robert, you have interesting points and your results orientation may be more effective that what I would think of as my “process” orientation. One demands winning, the other demands being compelled to watch. Yes, winning is compelling to watch so we meet there.
We got those rings with Shaq/Kobe because they were that good. The rest of the team was a bunch of very professional and committed basketball players. Harper, Shaw, Fox, Horry, AC, Grant, Fish… Those were great teammates. The Heat really remind me of those Lakers teams. They have transcendent talent, they have that big game gear, and have grown into expecting to win. That’s what those Lakers teams had…. and Shaq/Kobe. That is a matchup I wish to see.
2001 Lakers vs. whichever of these Heat teams is the best. Who guards LeBron- Horry, Fox? This Wade matched against #8. No answer for Shaq but lets not pretend anybody matches LeBron. Grant would have his hands full with Bosh. Anyway, interesting matchup, right?
2001 Lakers vs any Heat Team. Its like the ECF last 2013. Pacers got Hibbert and West on the front court but Shaq and Horry was way more better than those two especially prime Shaq. Besides, Lakers got a bench than those Pacers team.
The processes Jim Buss has used to “revamp” the scouting staff, hire and fire coaches, the deeply flawed relationship with his sister and HOF fiance, even the logic behind his public statements about kobe…it’s significant.
Does that sound like a competent owner? Would a franchise player want to work or play for a guy like that? Would their agent allow them to?
Laker fans will suffer until Jim Buss figures it out. At this point, there are no simple answers or easy fixes, but he needs help and is just too stubborn to ask for it.
P. Ami says
trianglefan, it appears a franchise player has and does want to play for a guy like that. Say what you will about where Kobe is in his career but he signed the deal.
to consider kobe a franchise player at this point in his career….then maybe we should go after kevin garnett and paul pierce too.
i’d rather have kobe in management at this point then having him play.
you’d think someone would listen to him. if you’re looking to play in la – and frankly the clippers are a lot more enticing than the lakers are – would you take a call from kobe or jim buss?
P. Ami: With regard to results: It is easy for anyone to demand results. What is the secret is how a guy like Phil, Pop, or Riles demand results and then get the players to respond (and yes talent is a prerequisite). A lot of what makes a successful coach is not explainable. Why is one guy labeled a motivator and another labeled “Mr. Panic” (since VGs name has come up recently)? With regard to 2001 – I think that Laker team was the greatest team in the history of the NBA. It had Shaq at his peak, combined with Kobe. The equivalent would have been Wilt and Jerry West paired in 1965. Heat could not stop Shaq (“Get Outta Our Way”).
Triangle/P. Ami: I am certainly on Triangle’s side of this. DH leaving was a major bad mark for the entire FO. Our roster situation is not exactly going to be a plus for attracting FA. Whether Jim and Mike are huge minuses or not is one thing, but I think it is safe to say that they are not plusses (and the best argument to be made is that FA simply follow the money – although such a claim did not work in the case of DH : )
Triangle: “Figures it out” That is one of three possibilities. The other 2 being, removal by proxy fight (not likely), and the more likely is that he backs off. He needs to simply become more like Jerry Buss and less like Jerry Jones. This he could do in one quick minute. “Figuring it out” could take years.
I think Triangle is perhaps being a little hard on Jim Buss, but I also have some questions about some of the moves Triangle mentions.
As to the results/process discussion: Some of the stuff Buss has done…
Hiring Brown instead of Adelman or Shaw
Hiring MDA instead of Phil
Cashiering some of the scouts
Replacing Ronnie Lester with Glenn Carraro
And in addition, the Lakers no longer have direct ties to some of the old legends.
…Has sort of sent an, “I got this” message. Buss has made some moves that went against the grain to an extent, and that is his prerogative. It may even be positive, in that Buss is willing and able to think for himself. OTOH, he does not seem to be the kind of guy who wants help, as Triangle suggests. That may be a problem.
So, combining the idea of thinking for himself with the Veto and some other stuff, I think Robert’s “I have seen enough” message is premature. But I also think that there is reason for concern, and the Lakers need to see some positive things happening by next year, and I would like to see some positioning for next year happening now.
That’s not exactly correct.
it’s the process of how brown was hired. – jim buss was so worried that mike brown would go to the warriors that he didn’t talk to adelman, dunleavy, and others as well. I’m sure the warriors send jim buss a thank you card every year.
I mean really, is Mike Brown gonna take the warriors over the lakers? The warriors have enough leverage over Mike Brown that they wouldn’t let him talk to the lakers?
It was the process how brown was fired. Brown was not given a fair shot, especially since the lakers actually were pretty decent against OKC in the previous playoffs.
The lakers were banged up in the beginning of the year. Not Brown’s fault.There’s a new system he’s trying to implement.
It was a system similar to the triangle and designed with the current age of the lakers in mind.
That takes time – a lot more than what he was given, and again, there were key injuries. I wasn’t a fan of brown, but I was pretty embarrassed at how he was let go.
There were plenty of good coaches available at the end of the year if they kept brown until the season’s end. That would have made a hell of a a lot more sense, and maybe even influenced Dwight’s decision – but there’s plenty of evidence that Dwight was not crazy about staying in LA anyway.
Instead you had the PJ/MDA fiasco. MDA can’t even walk, but he’s hired..It was the absolute worst time to make a change from a hiring standpoint. There’s pretty much no one available.
I think you can find similar patterns in other areas of Jim’s involvement in the Lakers. This is not the job you ease your way into. Jim seems determined to make the transition as difficult as possible.