We’ve reached a point with the Lakers where when an executive speaks, we have to hold our breath for the inevitable backlash as each sentence is broken down, word by word. Tuesday morning, when tweets came across the timeline that Jeanie Buss would be speaking publicly on the state of the Lakers with Colin Cowherd, my immediate and visceral reaction was “great, more of this.” In following with recent seasons, her comments didn’t meet my already considerably lowered expectations.
The appearance leaves more questions than answers, following a trend the Lakers need to correct if the organization wants to earn back the fanbase’s confidence they’ve lost due to how these last few seasons have gone.
Here’s the full interview:
First and foremost, the vibe that comes across is of someone trying her absolute best to answer every question asked, as best she possibly can. This is part of the problem. It’s impossible for her to come across positively in this situation given how little information she appears to have on the basketball operations side of the franchise.
This being the case, it’s probably best that she doesn’t speak publicly, and her insistence to is getting pretty hard not to consider these appearances as at least a little self-serving. If we’re being honest, it makes sense for her to go this route. The Lakers are coming off the worst two years in franchise history while the aspect Jeanie is in charge of (the business side) has really never been stronger. If Jim Buss’ timeline is not met, she stands to take full control of one of the world’s strongest brands.
Her response to Cowherd’s question about how the team will be graded caught my ear. At first, the exchange is more general and encompasses progress the team might make. Then, however, Jeanie says quite plainly, that the Lakers are going to be graded on wins, which is true to a certain extent, but risks ignoring actual progress. Again, in a spot where Jeanie could have offered clarity on a pretty major crossroads in the organization, we’re left to wonder if Jim isn’t being held to an impossible standard.
Look, one of the utmost priorities in public relations is to use media appearances to shed light on and, hopefully, clarify the goings on within an organization. Now, this isn’t the Lakers’ MO, or anything close to it, but recent appearances have done nothing but muddle the outsider’s perception.
Case in point: Jeanie’s explanation of how she found out about Byron Scott’s firing. (Seen below.)
This is inexcusable. A fully-functioning organization cannot remain as such with half the franchise being so isolated from the other that a decision as large as the firing of the team’s most outward-facing entity outside of only Kobe Bryant is learned via phone notification. No one is blameless, here, as communication is always a two-way street, but this explanation is a public relations disaster.
Look, my mentor in my time in public relations had a very clear motto: if you’re not going to tell your story, someone else will tell it for you. Basically, honesty is the best policy, and trying to get cute with tailoring a message almost never turns out well. Eventually, the truth will either come out, or people will ignore an obviously disingenuous message for something that makes more sense to them. That’s just how this works. When Jeanie says she had no idea of a decision this big, it’s just too hard to believe that an organization of the Lakers’ magnitude can be functioning at such a low level.
Still, let’s take Jeanie at her word and analyze the situation as such. Wouldn’t it make more sense to send someone like Mitch Kupchak for this kind of interview or, God forbid, Jim Buss, who rarely makes an appearance outside of those affiliated with the team? Kupchak is almost unrivaled in his ability to speak to the team’s direction without giving anything away or, conversely, speak for prolonged periods of time without really saying anything at all. This is a legitimate talent neither Jim or Jeanie have shown to this point.
Again, the point of speaking publicly like this is to hopefully clarify the situation, yet all too often, whoever is speaking offers nothing but fuel to the fire of speculation that the communication within the Lakers is nowhere near where it needs to be.
To be absolutely fair, Jeanie says very early on in the interview she was not ready to speak on the Lakers’ coaching situation and, once again, the talk of Jim’s timeline came prompted via questions from Cowherd. The Lakers boast enough muscle to either steer the conversation away from that topic beforehand, present someone more ready to talk on the subject literally everyone in the city is talking about or simply reschedule for a later date to figure out how to go about handling this appearance.
Furthermore and to her credit, Jeanie steered the conversation very clearly away from the coach talk, but walking in unprepared sends a pretty negative message. This gets back to my original point: the Lakers need to reach a point where the chasm between its two factions isn’t so blatantly obvious. No one in this equation is blameless.
A year from now, Jeanie will have one of — if not the — biggest decisions in Lakers history. Jim’s timeline will be up and the organization might move away from at least one (Jeanie’s mentioned moving on from Mitch, too) of its most powerful voices since Dr. Jerry Buss’ passing. How are we to expect Jeanie to make that call, if need be, with all the information she’ll need if she’s so detached that she’d be in the dark on the firing of the head coach?
Jeanie’s done a spectacular job handling the business, but ignoring the effects of poor public relations is an equation for disaster. Just ask the aforementioned and recently departed head coach.
This is a stupid mistake only an intern would make. Why is there a need for her to talk to the media? Why not just stay away from the media until this dies down? Why talk about the coaching decision – which by the way everyone with half a brain knew was coming and was 100% on boarch with – in a bad light? This woman is pushing her own power agenda. That worries me. Maybe we are not a “title contender” next year, but what if we continue to make progress and are at a position where it makes sense to stay the course; do we really believe Jeannie will keep her brother in charge or, essentially, start from scratch with a new FO?
Let me be the first one to say this. They both need to go.
A Horse With No Name says
Jeanie is in over her head–completely out of bounds. The siblings need to get a clue and boot her out.
It’s not Jeanie who’s in over her head it’s Jim Buss. If you had read the article you would have seen how strong the business side is. The fact they don’t communicate with her just says How divided the business has become
Mitch Friedman says
I completely agree with your assessment of the interview by Jeanie Buss. First, she should not be doing interviews, answering questions on basketball operations. That should be left to the people making those decisions. And it does not look good to the public and especially the fan base when her answers undermine the collective decision-making of the front office. It shows a growing division within the foundation of the organization and disrupts the goals and means of what this brand used to stand for.
Second, and most importantly, it does not bode well to the active players in the league that this would be a successful and structured management that they would want to come to. Los Angeles is a great place to live and work but the Lakers are displaying a dysfunctional approach which pushes the players and foremost, the star players, away to a better and more structured environment.
As a fan I only hope that players, such as Durant, Westbrook, and others will look beyond this confused vision to what will appease them as players and satisfy the fan base as the Lakers move forward this offseason and into the next decade.
Please no Westbrook or Durant. One is too stupid the other is too scared. Neither is laker material.
Kermit duell says
Such a mess. Such a fine mess the laker organization have created for itself. Yet, it shall survive!!
LT Mitchell says
It’s an owner’s responsibility to occasionally come out in public and address the concerns of the fanbase. Why is this even an issue? Would you rather have Jeannie come out publicly and admit that she is clueless about basketball operations…. or would you rather have the head of basketball operations do interviews to confirm that he is clueless about basketball? I would argue that a Jimbo interview (i.e. self imposed timeline, stating that any average fan could be a GM, predicting playoffs) does more damage to the Lakers brand and reputation than anything Jeannie has ever said. Fair or not, Jimbo’s reputation can be summarized by one word – “inept”. That reputation he earned all by himself has nothing to do with Jeannie. Jimbo’s reputation is the same reason that Jeannie is present during free agent pitch meetings, while Jimbo is nowhere to be found. Jimbo is a liability and a PR nightmare……but yeah, let’s blame Jeannie and her interviews for the Lakers woes.
Jimbo inherited a top of the line Ferrari, and has since destroyed the engine and transmission. It’s pretty silly to focus on Jeannie for trying to polish the windows.
Can someone please explain to me how this helps the team? Please. Robert, rr, KO, LT Mitchel, anyone… please? I do not understand.
Valle de Lagos says
This is yet another example of how nepotism ruins family businesses . It seems the Buss children may have learned the machinations of their respective positions, but not the subtle nuances. Jeanie, should toe the company line, speak on the success on the business side, and not cross into the operational side of the business. Jim should be available, more than he is, to speak on the basketball side regardless of his anxiety to speak in public.
There needs to be a clean sweep of the front office, with the family as the “board” affirming executive decisions, but not handling day to day business. I, as other fans, am sick of the sniping that has happened between the siblings in the public eye. If they would just get out of their own way, the Lakers can again gain credibility with the fans and the rest of the league.
Thank you again Anthony; always enjoy your posts here.
I appreciate FB&G callin’ it as it appears to many of us, sans the Laker Exceptionalism free pass.
Its curious for me that she looks very nervous during the interview, the body language and voice tone, not sure if its normal on her. Has Anthony says bad pr.
Baylor Fan says
I understand the point about having someone other than Jeanie give a vision of the Lakers going forward. However, Kupchak has come across as clueless in his latest interviews. His endorsement of Scott before firing him being a prime example. If anyone bears responsibility for the past two miserable seasons, it is Jeanie. Once she signed Kobe to his huge contract, she guaranteed that the team would revolve around him. The contract was signed while Kobe was out with a season ending injury and it was not clear how good he would be once he returned. He was already diminished in his ability to play defense and his numerous injuries had taken away his ability to attack the rim. No sane agent would have suggested that his superstar client should sign with the Lakers after that since he would have to play second fiddle to a long past his prime star. In retrospect, it made good business sense to sign Kobe but any contract would have worked. Also, Kobe still would have made his millions marketing himself. But having the largest contract on the team guaranteed that he would be the primary focus of the offense. That in turn limited who would work as a coach. There are no coaches in the NBA who could have succeeded with Kobe dominating the offense. In that sense, hiring Scott to be the sacrificial coach to end Kobe’s career works. It also had the predictable outcome of alienating the core of young players who are the Lakers future. The bottom line is that Jeanie is more to blame for the current state of the Lakers and their record the past two years than are Jim and Mitch.
Ovid mercene says
As huge as this frachise they can’t get a decent public relations. That’s why we cannot and will never get a good Free Agent . It’s start from the top . Remember President Truman?
So many assumptions about Jeanie being stupid here. There is the alternative explanation in that she told the truth and wanted the truth out. Contrary to the writers word, Jeanie was quite clear about the meaning of success, it’s winning and losing. She said that when Colin gave her the opportunity to soften Jim’s job by instead showing progress. She had none of it. Wins vs. Losses.
Remember it’s not just the Jeanie and Jim show, its the Buss family involved in the Laker enterprise. With her remarks she told the family that Jim is off the reservation, making decisions without consulting the President of the LA Lakers, who happens to be the top dog.
I’d say Jeanie just poured lots of oil on the carpet Jim is walking on.
Darius Soriano says
I don’t believe for one second Jeanie is stupid. What I wish, however, was there was more coordination between those who are in charge so when anyone makes a public appearance and answers questions about the state of the team there is a unified message and voice rather than what seems to happen all too often — statements which reinforce the idea of the top executives (Jeanie and Jim) lacking communication and operating out of the type of silos which do not exist in successful organizations (basketball or otherwise). That is not just a PR issue, but a larger issue of organizational direction and structure which needs to be sorted out.
Can someone please explain to me how this helps the team? Please. Robert, rr, KO, LT Mitchel, anyone… please?
I presume that you are joking around, because obviously it doesn’t help either the team or the org. As several have noted, Jeanie should either
a) Can Jim now, presuming that she has the authority to do so and wants to do so. I I have seen claims that she actually doesn’t have the authority.
b) Publicly announce that the FO has a longer window (two years then a re-visit) and then stop giving interviews like this.
If her agenda is, as many suspect, to bring Phil back to replace her brother, she is not helping herself tactically, there, either, since this gives people looking to defend the Jim Buss FO yet another outside person or situation to use to do that and will make her look worse if she forces him out at the end of next season.
All that said, presuming that Jim is still the final sign-off on basketball moves, this is still on him, as it always has been. No Kobe, no Byron, new coach to hire, maybe a high lottery pick, and over 60M in cap space. Let’s see what the FO does with this scenario.
If anyone bears responsibility for the past two miserable seasons, it is Jeanie. Once she signed Kobe to his huge contract, she guaranteed that the team would revolve around him
Like I said yesterday: this is the new thing on the Jim front–that Jeanie is actually making basketball decisions and she is the real problem. It is gaining steam around the net with Jim Buss’ Vociferous On-line PR Teams.
But yeah, if it can be shown that Jim and Mitch did not want to hire Byron, extend Kobe, chase Carmelo Anthony, re-sign Pau, or re-sign Nick Young, etc. etc. but Jeanie forced them to do all of those things, then, sure, absolutely–blame her. But for the moment, if we are looking to blame people for the state of the basketball team, then it would seem to make sense to blame the guy who has publicly said that he runs basketball ops and will step down at some point if the team isn’t good again.
Personally, I think people shouldn’t worry so much about the latest episode internet soap opera Under the Buss. Let’s see what the Lakers FO does next; they have a chance to move the org. forward right now.
This is Paul Kruger. I’ve been a Lakers fan since 1962.
I think that They should do their best to re-build the team to the best
of their ability.
I think Jim Buss should leave at the end of their 2017 season, if their not competitive
keeping his word to do so. They should search for an experienced NBA operations
man, who has a successful track record of building a team up.
I would keep GM Mitch Kupchak who’s very experienced and knows everyone around the
league. They might want to entertain retaining Kobe Bryant as a consultant to the front
office.These are the steps I’d follow after a couple of difficult years for the best team
Plenty of blame to go around; why stop with the Buss kiddies? I’d bet serious coin PJ is doing his part, keeping the pot boiling by whispering sweet nothings in Jeanie’s ear.
Ok if Jeanie is gonna determine if she keeps Jim based on wins and loses, what’s that number? If the Lakers win 25 more games next year, that would be a amazing one year turn around and be one of the biggest jump in wins ever. However that would only put them at 42 wins and very well out of the playoffs. What is great progress rather than just wins and loses. If it’s Luke Walton things would probably be alright but let’s say it’s Kevin Ollie. He is well liked, a good coach, has things moving in the right direction but he doesn’t run the triangle and Jeanie has her way and blows Jim out because they aren’t deep in the playoffs. Is that a good thing, because I think it’s either Jim/Mitch or Phil/Rambis.
Good write-up Anthony but Oh man! I didn’t see this interview earlier but it only confirms how ill equipped Jeanie is in a PR role and the open rift between she and her brother. She appeared very nervous with her voice noticeably cracking at many moments. But what really stands out is that she is simply an ineffective communicator and made several cringe worthy statements. She also was not immune to making contradictory statements.
Case in point. She indicated that when judging performance it’s all about wins & losses yet she defended the “great job” Byron did by saying he had the team “playing hard” but allowed that the record was not what she would have liked. So in essence Jim should be judged by wins & losses but this arguably very reasonable standard, evidently does not apply to Mr Scott. A curious position as it suggests that the standard can be selectively applied depending on the person being evaluated.
Coaching change- regardless of whether one believes that she was unaware of the decision to move on from Byron, there is absolutely no good reason to say this publicly unless you wanted to make Jim look bad. Clearly, this is not an area that Jim needs any help in and underscores the significant chasm between Jim & Jeanie. Further she continually refers to Jim as “my brother” or as a pronoun. It is just not credible that her only knowledge re: coaching change was by “following the media” and from these accounts had thought that the FO felt that he was doing a “good” job. Her claim was that she was surprised. And if true the disconnect is sadly much larger than I had thought.
Authority – When pressed by Cowherd about whether she had the authority to fire Jim she was evasive. She referred again to Jim’s pledge (part of her standard speaking points) and that her she “also had the power to make sure that they had the tools that they need” to be successful. This non answer suggests to me that she alone does NOT have the authority to unilaterally fire Jim. If true, it also explains why she never lets an opportunity go by to not mention that her brother has made this commitment since it’s important to keep Jim’s feet squarely in the fire.
Phil – She amazingly made the comment that she went to her sibling to ask about whether there was a role for Phil as it would “make me better at my job” and “it would be somebody that I would enjoy having the opportunity to work with the man I’m engaged to”. Not exactly the best business case she could advance. It only reinforces the perception that some of Jeanie’s actions are motivated solely by personal considerations.
For the past couple of years Jim Buss has felt the heat and deservedly so. But I think that the free ride Jeanie has enjoyed is coming to an end. For the benefit of the Lakers the Buss family needs an intervention. Sooner would be good.
Zzzzzzzz…. Boring. We’ve heard this all before, same routine from Jeannie, she must take some speech classes.
T. Rogers says
If the Lakers were winning games Jeanie wouldn’t need to address “basketball operations” questions. She could talk about business and be the smiling face the of Lakers she has always been. The real issue is not Jeanie’s approach. It’s the team’s dismal performance on the court. That’s not to say I like Jeanie’s approach. Clearly her and Jim are at odds. But Jim knowingly took the toughest role in the organization. Naturally more criticism will go in his direction.
What irks me about Jeanie now is the idea of judging next season on wins. What where the last three seasons judged on?
I don’t understand why the blame falls on everyone else but Jim. Bottom line, back to back worst record in franchise history, no need for a good pr team or Jeanie to give interviews if the lakers were contending just like jimbo promised. He should be fired now because there is no way, lakers go from 2nd worst to 2nd best in the nba in 12 months. Get rid of this clown now. Also, this limbo hurts the ability to get a top coach given that the next head of basketball ops will most likely want to start with a clean slate and hire a new coach.
Thomas Rickard says
People I think most of you are clueless, after the Howard/Nash fiasco there wasn’t anything the Lakers could do but rebuild, it didn’t matter if they resigned Kobe for 2 more years in fact it made it easier to go low and keep their draft picks, they’ve tanked as much as anyone over the last few years, in fact the only bad thing that’s happened is winning a couple of games at the end of the season which helped drop them to #7 and if they manage to keep their top 3 pick the last few years will have been brilliant, at the same time they made a fortune on Kobe’s good by tour, and never have I heard anything about tanking, they now have more young talent then in many yesrs, a boat load of cssh to spend and the ability to higher a coach to put it all together, will they win a championship next year, or course not but if you can tell me how they could of gotten to where they are now, I’ll tell you I don’t believe it, IT WAS THE PERFECT TANK JOB!!!!!
First of all, welcome back to FB&G. I always enjoy reading your posts.
Secondly, I rarely comment on the Front Office. (My own perception re: the FO office is something of a mixed bag; but that’s another matter.) What I have noticed, however, is a tendency on the part of Jeanie to voice her frustrations publicly. Also, there seems to be (obviously) a clear gap in communication between the primary executives in charge (namely, Jim and Jeanie).
There are actually solutions to all of this. 1) I would suggest that Jeanie (and perhaps Jim) consider hiring an executive coach. Before you wrinkle your nose at this notion, please hear me out. For eleven years (2002-13), I was the CEO of an IT consulting firm in Los Angeles. It was my first executive leadership post. And I was terrified of doing something stupid. And so, I hired an executive coach. He signed an NDA (Non Disclosure Agreement) and sat in on all my staff meetings for 6 months. I reviewed major emails and directives with him before they went out. Press Releases, too. And we met every 3 weeks to discuss challenges that I was facing (often sniping between several of my VPs) and ways in which I might handle them.
Well…I’m convinced he saved my career. Probably, more than once. The result was a fairly successful run (I was President and CEO until we sold the company) and I’m convinced that I would have flamed out easily without his help.
I believe that Jeanie could use the same sort of guidance. She could use an executive coach to discuss what sorts of things she should say or not during her (very public) interviews and could anticipate questions and even role-play them in advance. This would help her appear more crisp and less improvisatory when the real thing happens. She might learn, in the process, that you should not voice your frustrations in public but only behind close doors. For example, if Virginia Rometty, President and CEO of IBM, were to become frustrated with one of her VPs, would she reveal that to the Wall Street Journal? No. Of course, not. She would resolve everything internally. Jeanie should work on graduating to that level. And I truly believe that an executive coach might help.
Finally, I would suggest that internal communications within the Lakers executive offices be formalized. It might be a good idea for Jeanie, Jim, and Mitch Kupchak to meet, say, every 2 or 3 weeks simply to discuss things in general and to keep everyone on the same page. By doing so, there would be no surprises and no feelings that one person is making an “end-run” on the other. There should be rules in these meetings. (I would hold executive briefings once a month in my company; the Lakers, initially, may need them more often.) Those rules would be as follows: 1) whatever is said in those meeting remains within those 4 walls; 2) nothing personal is expressed; e.g., you never say “you’re stupid; I can’t believe you did that” but rather “I don’t quite understand your reason for doing that; can you help me understand your motivation.”
By formalizing this process, you ensure that there’s constant communication and that everyone is informed. The result would be a more co-ordinated front and an improved organizational image.
I think that solutions such as these could help greatly in El Segundo. It’s worth a try.
Kelly Gleason says
We’ve heard Jerry Buss lauded for years as being the best owner in the history of professional sports. This broad stroke certainly has veracity, but the central component of his greatness was his ability to let real basketball professionals run the organization, while he stayed out of the way. I’m afraid that his legacy was tarnished by his decision – his insistence – upon placing son Jim in a position he was unfit for. And, despite his good intentions, Jim Buss has exacerbated his predicament with his dreadful PR instincts. As much as I like Jeanie, I cringe when I hear her speak for the organization. Let’s all hope the Buss family can correct this dysfunctional mess, and recognize how their father achieved what he did with the Lakers. Set the family ego aside, and think like business people. We want our Lakers back! We want to continue loving the Buss family, so be like Jerry and get out of your own way!
Bring Jackson in , no not Phil, but Mark. He coached GS out of the ashes. Also Westbrook and Adam Lavine, along with Larry Nance jr, would be the gray hounds to run showtime. I noticed J. Buss never mentioned the word Championships as a goal. Seem to just be complacent on the phrase winning games.
What a joke, she sounds like a brat who didn’t get their way.
Firing byron was completely necessary so why even comment on it.
Seems like brother jim foiled her plans for the team, so now she will attempt to foil his.
I don’t have an issue with Jeanie speaking to the media as long as she makes bland, general statements – like the ones Mitch is so known for. I do have issues when she says things that just confirm the dysfunction between her and Jim/ within the ownership.
If she’s not dumb, then she knows how her comments are going to affect public perception and I would question what her motivations are and whether they are helpful to the team’s rebuilding efforts.
If the FO strategy hinges on signing the best FAs and best coaches, then perpetuating the idea of a dysfunctional ownership obviously isn’t helpful, especially with FAs. I’d imagine there a number of factors that FAs and their agents consider when looking at offers and one is probably how stable ownership is. I’m guessing it also doesn’t make Mitch’s life an easier when trying to negotiate trades if the other side thinks that the Lakers are desperate to get something done to meet the deadline.
Nice post at 218 PM from T Rogers.
Anon: Can someone please explain to me how this helps the team? Please. Robert, rr,….: It helps depending on your point of view. Some of us feel that major organizational change is needed (and have for years). Ideally a sale of the franchise however with that probably not in the cards – the best we can hope for is a change in the FO. Jeanie’s comments are not good from a PR perspective, but I like the fact that she has a laser focus on Jim’s deadline, and has no desire to compromise on it. If she keeps that focus – she will have done her part. This is what it comes down to. Others want Jeanie to let Jim off the hook if the Lakers improve by 10-15 games next year. No ! Her communications are not good, the rift is not good, but the change is required. Jeanie needs to stay strong and focused and make the changes that are required – this is how it helps the team !
Like i said in the other thread. Despite Jim blunders he is been away from the media since the beginning of the season and i think that was the right decision, let Mitch handle the media. Jeannie is the one on media tours showing the divide in the FO to the entire world. She is not involved in basketball decisions so why is she talking about keeping Byron when is not her decision and then the FO goes and fire Byron she says she didn’t knew. Why not toe the line and discuss any misgivings she might have behind close doors? It’s becoming more obvious to me that she is actually sabotaging his brother because she wants her boyfriend back in LA and become the biggest NBA power couple. And i dont think she has the power she says she has. She is the president but to fire Jim she need the other Buss kids support she can’t just say one morning “that’s it your fired”. Jim cornered himself with his self imposed deadline and i bet Jeannie and Phil are just waiting to pounce. Phil track record in NY gives me zero confidence whatsoever. Jeannie needs to shut up and wait what moves the FO do. She has no say on any of it…
– Apparently the franchise hasn’t “bottomed out” yet. If Jimmy and Jeanie are the face of the organization because they are the best of the “Bust” kids, this franchise is truly troubled. With Philly improving their front office, only the Kings have a more dysfunctional ownership group.
– Let’s be real, there is absolutely no logical reason to trust the current owners to make the right decisions to return this organization to glory. They’ve never done it before. We can hope, but not much more. Making one decent decision for every 4 or 5 bad ones is not acceptable. Even a broken clock is correct twice a day.
– I’ve set the bar low for a successful 2016-17. At least 30 wins and I’ll be okay. 30 wins, something our Lakers have been unable to reach in the last 3 seasons. The 3 worst consecutive seasons in Lakers history.
– My hope, my wish, my plea to the “Bust” kids. Find hobbies, get a reality show and above all hire a basketball guy to run the organization and stay away from it’s operations.
Kelly Gleason: ” so be like Jerry and get out of your own way!” Yes – exactly. Own do not run basketball ops. Been saying this for years.
Mid: When two executives fight publicly, it has been my experience that the lower ranking one usually ends up unemployed. Have you seen differently?
Anon: ” I don’t understand why the blame falls on everyone else but Jim.” Only with some people : )
T.Rogers: ” The real issue is not Jeanie’s approach. It’s the team’s dismal performance on the court.” Bingo
Anon: ” because I think it’s either Jim/Mitch or Phil/Rambis.” How about Phil/Luke?
Darius: ” That is not just a PR issue, but a larger issue of organizational direction and structure which needs to be sorted out.” Yes – and this lack of direction and structure has existed for years.
@Mr. Irwin — Thank you for the write-up. You raise many salient points.
@A lot of you — There is a lot of revisionist history here about the alleged perfect record of decision-making and staying out of the way of the “basketball people” by Jerry Buss
–It was Jerry Buss who overrode his basketball people to insist upon drafting Magic Johnson. Jerry West wanted Sidney Moncrief. Buss’ instinct proved to be correct, but that was about Johnson’s charisma and style of play, not that he knew Magic was one of the 5 best players of all time.
–It was Jerry Buss who overrode his basketball people to insist upon firing Paul Westhead and making Jerry West coach of the team, which West evaded by announcing at the press conference Pat Riley was the coach of the team. That change (in the wake of Magic’s complaints about Westhead) was a HUGE PR nightmare.
–It was Jerry Buss who overrode his baskeball people and tried to get Clippers owner Donald Tokowitz (his actual name) to guarantee the #1 overall draft pick to the Lakers in 1982 in order to draft Ralph Sampson. Tokowitz refused, Sampson stayed in college, the Lakers got the #1 pick anyway and drafted James Worthy. Would a Magic-Sampson (Kareem would have been traded) led team been as successful? Probably not.
–It was Jerry Buss who had a Worthy for Mark Aguirre + Roy Tarpley trade all lined up, only to have Jerry West threaten to quit if the trade went through.
–It was Jerry Buss who insisted upon letting Pat Riley go after the players’ revolt at the end of the 1990 playoffs. Buss was right, but West didn’t like players undermining the coach’s authority and didn’t want to do it.
–It was Jerry Buss who pushed for Dennis Rodman to sign with the Lakers to solve their power forward problems early in the Shaq-Kobe era.
–It was Jerry Buss who resisted hiring Phil Jackson, and was relatively eager to get rid of him after the fallout of the 2004 season.
–If media reports are true, it was Jerry Buss who ultimately signed off on hiring Mike D’Antoni over Phil Jackson (or whomever else they considered).
And, it was Jerry Buss who decided upon the current Lakers front office structure with Jim and Jeannie in their respective roles.
I do hope the Busses decide it’s time to go against their father and give up executive control in favor of simply being owners. In the modern NBA, I don’t think the Buss family structure makes for a truly functional front office. But I think comparing their efforts to a mythologized version of Jerry Buss is unfair to them.
I like colin cowherd he seems very logical, after the interview he said if he ran the lakers he would sign al horford this year, then chris paul next year
“Do you have the power to make drastic changes if next year is not successful?”
The question was not directly answered, so it’s a, no.
It’s like colin is trying to squeeze information from her.
I went on YouTube and looked up, jim buss interview, i couldn’t really find any, one was 3 years old
I like colin cowherd he seems very logical, after the interview he said if he ran the lakers he would sign al horford this year, then chris paul next year
Those signings would be a disaster for the rebuilding Lakers.
1) Horford is 30 and just came off a year in which he averaged 15 pts and 7 rebs– oh, and he’ll want a max deal. Plus, he’s missed two of the last four years due to injury.
2) I love Chris Paul but he’d be 32 when he steps onto the floor for the Lakers. I’m sorry but spending max dollars for the downside of someone’s career is not a wise move.
A Horse With No Name says
“Do you have the power to make drastic changes if next year is not successful?”
The question was not directly answered, so it’s a, no.
It’s like colin is trying to squeeze information from her.
As I’ve said before, Jeanie doesn’t have unilateral power. Jerry Buss knew better. All of her sniping reflects her lack of power. Like a woman scorned, her hellish fury at Jim (and indirectly her Dad) for getting rid of Jackson (the love of her life) knows no bounds. Jim doesn’t tell her what he is up to because he doesn’t have to–and why would he when her objective is to get her siblings to side with her and get rid of him?
Temple O’ Worthy: Great post @ 6:01
Temple of James – that’s quite a list of alleged Jerry Buss miscues. I wonder how many actually played out as described. For example, I’ve read that Jack Cooke actually made the decision to draft Magic.
matt: Jim Buss gave an extensive interview on 10/15/2015, during which he made the now infamous statement: “Yeah, I think we’re in dynamite position. Not good position – dynamite. I think we’ve turned the corner.” We proceeded to have the worst year in franchise history.
TOJW: Jerry Buss was the greatest owner in the history of sport, but “clearly” he made a few mistakes. However, I can’t fault a man for loving his children : )
Lakers granted permission to talk to Like Walton. About Jerry Buss miscues, he had Jerry West to save him from himself. Debate closed…
Temple: well Magic concurs that Buss made the call to draft him, so OK.
Still, three absolutely catastrophic seasons requires a better defense than “Jerry Buss wasn’t perfect.”
If Jerry Buss was uneasy about PJ I can’t say I blame him. PJ is a brilliant coach and a world-class button pusher. Don’t take my word for it – simply review what Jerry West has said about him.
By the way, the two franchises he won championships with were left essentially in ruins by the time he departed. Not entirely his fault, but you know what? I don’t think it’s coincidence either.
Matt/Horse- Yes! Noticed the same non-answer from Jeanie and mentioned it up thread. Which takes us back once again to the logic of either gathering whatever votes she needs to send Jim packing (unlikely) or allowing for more time. Doing neither makes the rebuild (hiring a new coach, attracting FA’s, etc) somewhat more challenging.
Clay Bertrand says
On the ownership structure of the Buss Family, as many of you may know, there are SIX legally recognized Buss children. Four from Dr. Buss’ first marriage (Johnny, Jimmy, Jeanie and Janie) and two from his second “non marital” relationship” (Jesse and Joey).
The 66% ownership of the Lakers passed to the 6 Buss children via the family trust and each has an equal share and hence an equal vote in the control of the team were it to come to a decision to sell it. My understanding is also that major decisions to remove family members from their positions within the workings of the franchise are also subject to a vote of the family members.
As others have touched on, this isn’t really just JIMMY vs. JEANIE. There are four other owners. We don’t know the sentiments held by the other family members/owners or whether in fact their sentiments/opinions or votes can override Jeanie’s. Curiously, her reluctance on Cowherd to publicly reiterate that it is solely HER DECISION, as she emphatically told us last year in an interview, suggests that perhaps she doesn’t wield the great almighty organizational Light Saber we have been led to believe she does. I feel like she would have again strongly stated this for the record in the Cowherd interview when directly questioned on the topic and her dodgy response was not really in line with her previous authoritative pronouncements.
While I have NOT seen this first hand, I understand that Jim’s “deadline” was initially somewhat matter of factly outlined behind closed doors to the other siblings in an ownership family meeting setting following Dr. Buss’ death. However, when he himself (foolishly) went public with the statement in an interview shortly after that meeting, it was something of a point of no return in that the public, and apparently Jeanie as well, began to consider it a word for word ABSOLUTE and began to increasingly portray it as a full on DROP DEAD DEADLINE. I don’t know if this was how it was portrayed in the family meeting. Does any Buss family member or fan REALLY believe that we will be in the WC Finals next year??? I would say if they think logically they don’t.
A number of posters have mentioned the irony of SUDDENLY judging everything strictly by wins and losses and what this means for a team that will likely show progress but not be in the WC Finals.
A few posters have begun to suggest that significant progress should be the measuring stick by which to judge the team and NOT the impossible feat of being in the WC Finals.
I agree with rr that they should either fire the whole FO now, (which isn’t going to happen so its kinda moot), or honestly objectively judge the team at the end of next season through a more realistic lens. If the team shows marked improvement and the roots of a new culture are clearly taking hold, this should absolutely be allowed to continue with the current FO. Jeanie should make the prudent decision (if its hers to make) to extend Jim’s deadline another year or two. It shouldn’t be Jeanie ruining any organic progress in the name of holding Jim to an unrealistic deadline.
I would THINK that regardless of how Jeanie feels about Jim or Phil, she would value the Lakers success over all other things and if they look to be making good progress as a young team, she would not interfere with that.
My understanding is she can’t fire him, he has to resign
Patrick Lanigan says
It’s pretty evident that there is only one adult in the front office: Mitch Kupchak.
Dr. Buss didn’t just stay out of the way, he stayed out of the media. Well run teams do not have their owner constantly granting media requests. Jeannie isn’t even in charge of the basketball side of the business, yet she has been all over the media in the last month. She obviously craves attention, and while it is her right to do the interview circuit, it is not advancing the interest of the team.
Not that it really matters to us as fans, but I personally wish we knew who had what power and how one or the other Buss kids could get fired from their positions. What is the true setup here and how does an owner get fired from his or her day job?
Seems like there are too many hidden agendas in play, few of which have anything to do with improving the product on the court…until the organization finds its footing, with all involved pulling in the same direction and with a structure that supports that goal, we’re in for a long transition. To what, who knows.
Clay Bertrand says
Strong posts ABOUND today. Too many to mention them all….Bluehill, TOJW, T. Rogers, Fern, rr, matt, Robert, Die Tryin, several Anonymous’, Horse With No Name, Thomas Rickard etc. way too many goodies today folks!
But I will say, MID WILSHIRE, IMO, really excellent suggestions regarding the executive coaching!!!!!! People need to be taught to do new things. No shame in that. They may even need to go a step further and hire an ORGANIZATIONAL CONSULTANT to provide coaching to those who need it and just establish a better overall level of structure based on successful business organizations. The communications meetings are a no brainer and really, if they ARE NOT already doing this, then they REAAAAAALLLLLLLLLY need coaching!!!! C’mon man!!! AT LEAST SIT DOWN AND MEET every couple of weeks for god’s sake!!!! That should be etched in STONE!!!!!!!!!
A consultant or coach from the business world would seem to be a very impactful type of move to make for what is really a fledgling group of wannabe executives at this point (other than Mitch and a few others). However, I don’t know if EVERYTHING from business fits in the business of SPORTS. For example, it seems odd to me when NBA teams hire KORN FERRY to recruit NBA executives for them. It seems that if you need to hire a general executive search firm to find BASKETBALL “executives” that everyone in this forum knows the names of, you are in the WRONG BUSINESS!!! I say this to you all on this fateful day:
“ANY POSTER IN FORUM BLUE & GOLD COULD BUILD AN NBA FRONT OFFICE!!!!” … Sound familiar???? ; )
rr is 100% right from the last thread. We ALL love the Lakers. None of us have BUSS FAMILY jerseys. None of us have the BUSS FAMILY TEAM STREAM. We are all frustrated to a degree. Even the Buss kids. We see some progress and the negative heat turns back into passion.
I’m most excited for the fresh start. I don’t expect miracles. I just want to PURELY enjoy the games again. I want to root for WINS and be so pissed I can’t sleep after losses like back in the good old days.
Most of all, I look forward to the day when we can all GET OFF THESE DAMN BUSSES and get back on our Laker bandwagon rollin on 20s!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
CAAAANNNN YOUUUU DIGGITTTTTTTTTTTTTTT?!!?!?!?!?!?!
Chris J says
Well run teams do not have their owner constantly granting media requests.
Best exception: Dallas Mavericks
Clay Bertrand says
Chris J, yes CUBAN talks more than ANYONE!!!!!!!!!! He yells at refs During games and complains about them afterward. PLUS he’s on social media and he’s always getting fined etc. BUT, his media interaction is more from a very educated fan perspective than as an owner. He wears Mavs gear and cheers like a groupie too!!!!
He NEVER talks strategy. He doesn’t makes predictions or deadlines and he in no way foreshadows what his team will do. The Lakers SHOULD have people who talk to the media just as long as they are coached in how to act professionally. KEEP IT IN THE FAMILY!!!!! Keep negativity WITHIN the headquarters and within the context of the task at hand without getting personal. Just like what Mid-Wilshire suggests.
Mid-Wilshire, again, the more I think about it, your suggestion is just SO VERY ON POINT and necessary. And its SIMPLE. Such a VERY DOABLE, and very affordable thing to do to from the inside to strengthen the Executive Leadership. I mean, even SUCCESSFUL executive teams and management teams for big companies are constantly looking to sharpen their leadership and foster team unity by various means. There are seminars for TOP executives that companies pay for their people to attend. Leadership speakers, workshops, team building retreats etc., are all seen as valuable in the business world.
The Buss kids have clearly NEVER worked for anyone before. That’s not for us to judge and I have no interest in going there. Its just that NOW that the majority of the family works for the team as their “profession”, maybe they just need some proper in-practice, hands on business training to learn and understand what it means to be PROFESSIONALS??
We GOTTA get an ANGIOPLASTY on the communications arteries of this organization FOR SURE!!
Ian R. says
Despite some of the worst years record wise in Lakers history they are now in a very favorable position moving forward. I’m not a huge fan of Jim or Jeanie at this point but let’s try to focus on the positives. The Lakers have the most cap space in the league, a promising young core and a possible top 3 pick in the draft. Let’s see what happens this summer.
You all seem to assume one thing.
That they care!
Over $130 million in net profit for 17 wins.
And Jimmy just bought and sold his 3 of 5 expensive houses here in Laguna Beach.
We care. A lot. But do they. Team is worth close to 3 billion.
Guess that family not worrying about where their next meal coming from.
Can Magic and Worthy convince Pat Riley to come back and GM this water logged battleship. Kup, needs to give someone else the steering wheel.
This is far more than a PR issue. It is an organization dysfunction issue. Jeanie carries the title President and has herself said ” I have the final say in the organization”. How can the person that carries that responsibility be so far out of the loop as not to know that public face of the organization is being terminated and she seeming by her comments may not even agree with it. I was CEO of a 10000 person organization and cannot fathom now being consulted or at least informed that a key person is being let go. It speaks loudly to the disfunction of this organization. If that’s how it happened, the only PR problem is admitting it for all the Laker Nation to hear.
She might learn, in the process, that you should not voice your frustrations in public but only behind close doors. For example, if Virginia Rometty, President and CEO of IBM, were to become frustrated with one of her VPs, would she reveal that to the Wall Street Journal? No. Of course, not. She would resolve everything internally.
Exactly, that’s how professional organizations usually handle such things. Jeanie should keep in mind that she’s not just speaking for herself but also represents the organization when she’s giving interviews.
“For example, I’ve read that Jack Cooke actually made the decision to draft Magic.”
As I have posted before, and the one soul stated above, West wanted Moncrief. Jerry Buss told Cooke and West that he wasn’t buying the team unless they drafted Magic. And, again, as I and the soul above wrote, was not owing to Jerry’s great knowledge of the game but instead that Magic had the style that would $ell, while Moncrief not nearly so much.
Jimbo’s problem, for how little he talks, is that he still doesn’t know when to shut up. I don’t think for a moment that he meant that any and all diehard fans in a bar could GM the team, but I do think, well, how does it work in sports? If you didn’t play at that high level then you aren’t fit? Why the resistance to the new math wasn’t just from old time journo types but the players themselves. What’s this bookish nerd doing thinking that he KNOWS something when he never played the game
Oh, and the fans have to remember to blame themselves sometimes. Meaning, sure, more than a few here thought that Kobe was vastly overpaid with this now expired contract, but how about your more casual fan, not as basketball wise as some others but still willing to spend some cold, hard cash on things team-related? And you can add Phil here as well, and this is not an endorsement of Phil, but what the reaction of the two fan bases if the offers are perceived to be low balling and Kobe and Melo walk on out of town? Why, except for the last game, as a last game, the whole Kobe farewell tour was completely and utterly detestable. I want to remember the good Kobe, and without the memories of 36% from the field Kobe there in the mix. Yet there was that vast horde at the games, cheering him on, standing o’s included, when he Kobricked his way to 36% (he well and truly finally earned the Kobrick nickname). And this has nothing at all to do with stunting the development of the young pups, though that matters, as simply has to do with who in Deity’s name wants to watch anyone chuck their way to a 36% (the period at the end there means a statement and not a question). That it was Kobe changes nothing, but only makes it worse.
Lastly, re the money to spend, I doubt that it matters. They won’t be signing Pop, or a back in the day Jerry Sloan, and so there really isn’t anything to mask the fact that this team goes through coaches like we all go through tissue paper when we’ve a runny nose. And doesn’t that sound enticing. In that sense, they could give all the inane interviews that they the like, but if there’s some sense of some organizational sanity and stability, then never mind the inane interviews, as we all have our eccentricities. And the sanity and the stability doesn’t simply refer to having but the one coach in lieu of the three that you had, but could you please pick a frickin style of basketball that you want to build the team around. Which brings me to Nick Young, Who Is The Devil (again, recall the Deadspin piece on Nick). Horribly flawed player (subpar to no D, could you please pass the damn ball for once, and you might try pulling down a rebound every now and again), but he was a much better fit under D’Antonio than he was ever going to be under Bryon, and so if you had a thought that you were going to replace D’Antoni with Bryon, then why the Nick Young extension?
For a bonus freebie, and a time to gloat, there’s also Roy Hibbert, who proved, as I said before this whole feces fest started, was as much a product of the system and the souls around him than he himself was. And so he fell down a lot this season, not because he’s oafish, though he is that, but because with the likes of Kobe, Russell, Clarkson and whoever else was playing SG, PG, SF, the opposition was simply into the lane in wave after wave after wave. If Wilt had been playing center, he’d have pulled down the rim and the backboard on the O end, so he’d have some time to gather himself in order to defend against wave after wave after wave on the D end.
Almost forgot, but the other thing to remember is to always avoid looking desperate. Here recall all those signs asking Dwight Howard to stay. Wasn’t that he left in spite of the signs that’s embarrassing, but instead the mere fact that the team had to beg. But lucky for the team that he didn’t stay, since as good as he still might be at D and the boards, he isn’t what he once was at that, and as the 12 or so FGA in his last game this season shows, he’s never ever going to be even a 2nd option on a championship caliber team (not even a 3rd option)(so he’s never gonna be taking control of the game, which is what separates the elite from everybody else).
substance over style says
if the lakers were winning, or at least looked like they were on that track, this discussion would not be taking place. if jim buss didn’t say to john ireland in the last two weeks that the lakers would be back on top next year (with a ridiculous caveat that a lot of things must break the lakers way – yeah, like the entire league being hijacked by ISIL), this discussion would be much different.
This is not the first Jim Buss statement that has shown a real lack of thought. If we’re going to talk about PR, let’s start with that.
To say that no one is blameless is a nice PR move that obfuscates where most of the blame lies. To suggest that it’s too hard to believe that Jeannie was unaware of the firing seems to unfairly question her veracity and conveniently forgets how a certain coaching fiasco took place that made her look like a fool because in part she wasn’t kept in the loop and apparently never got the apology or discussion that was warranted by that event.
The dysfunctional nature of the franchise was created by Jerry Buss – and this franchise was never a model of sanity. But they won, so everyone conveniently forgets how many times Jerry West threatened to quit, among other things.
No question they need to be on the same page, but this would not be an issue if the lakers were winning, or if Jim Buss didn’t make statements that came back to haunt him.
Jeannie has no choice but to be bluntly honest. Someone would leak that she had no clue of the firing. Better to lead from the front than behind since she is in charge of the bottom line which is shrinking by the day. Jeannie’s honesty is really the only thing that the lakers have going for them right now until they start winning. Quibbling about what she says, how she says it and when she says misses the larger point.
massimo from Italy says
She is clearly working to become the head of basketball operations, which is Phase A
Phase B is bringing back in town her fiancee.
That is obviously plain wrong, because Phil is spent and his real asset was on the bench, and not behind a desk.
The struggle in the family will always linger on the team’s results. Hope it won’t become a poison.
How come Jim have not done a interview alone without his sister doing Damage Control it’s shows what type of leader he is in which he is not !!!
George Best says
So how does her talking really hurt things? The team is bad and everyone wants to pile on the on the court failings by using ownership as an excuse. The Lakers got screwed by the league on the CP3 deal, the Lakers still managed to try and get a couple of pieces to get another championship before Kobe started regressing. Howard was pathetic but what was the alternative? Bynum who had a worse attitude? Nash got hurt also. Lots of bad luck here.
Somehow they have taken these bad breaks and added some talent including Clarkson in the second round. Kobe got his respect and the team is in a position to draft a great player unless the luck goes bad. The Lakers were going to rebuild once the Howard/Nash experiment went bad.
Other than San Antonio what NBA franchise is really doing things right with no bad luck and constant championship contention. Jerry West has done great in GS but he has one championship and if Curry is out then what? We fans are like the first person who got a telephone and continued to use it to our advantage but as others got the phone and business becomes more equal we complain we cant dominate any more. This isnt the NBA of the 80s or even the 90s. Teams dont trade young Kobe Bryant types for Vlade Divac etc.
The Lakers are now another NBA team. They will have ups and downs and unless they draft some great players or get lucky in free agency they arent going to win. You want to be contenders every year but after all that has happened I am giving ownership a pass.
Evaluation of the team really starts now. They need to add a good player in the draft and add the right coach. Kobe is not an excuse any longer and his presence caused a lot of problems the past couple of years and I dont mind considering his greatness and what he did. We have the young player foundation and now ownership can show if they are truly the right group to lead us with the next coaching hire choice and the players we add.
I may have a different opinion a year from now but I cant believe all the negative reaction to an appearance by Jeannie on a talk show.
R’s remark about Phil being a “world class buttom pusher” reminded me of Charlie Murphy in Chapelle show calling Rick James an “habitual line stepper” LOL
To be fair, I don’t think giving interviews is part of Jim’s job description. However, if one of the Buss kids decides to give an interview they should make sure they don’t say ill-advised things.
I agree, even if they had brought in quality free agents in the past two years, they would still not be able to compete, they would have tradable assets, but now they only have prospects, the positive of how they managed the team is, us the fans are intrigued about the future, if they hire the right coach and fill the gaps the right way it will become even more interesting, we can only hope the two in the shadows that manage the team are not effected by this type of criticism from jeanie and other high society fans with plenty of time to voice their dissatisfaction in the present failure of the team.
You have some history dude. Nice to read a guy in my advanced age bracket.
Great piece. Us long time Laker fans often have a different take then newer fans. We remember the old Cooke days and back when Jerry had to sell the Kings to pay Laker bills.
Jerry built a franchise not inherited one and quite honestly none of his kids would be any where in sports if he lost the team back then. Also Phil would probably still be with his first wife and Show Time would be a movie channel.
Guessing athletic talent is not a Buss trait. Nor is credible speeches. Does Buss equal Kardashian? Might all be surprised on some of the back family stories!
Life is funny. Can’t wait for the book!
I’m not sure what to make of this fact: Two of the leading candidates for the coaching vacancy were previously part of the organization, Messina and Walton.
Messina was a consultant/assistant coach for Mike Brown. Walton was a D-fenders coach in the Developmental league.
Messina should have been hired over Brown or considered as his replacement — yet he wasn’t. Jim or Mitch should have asked that Walton be part MDAs staff – yet he wasn’t.
I’m going to channel my inner rr here: as I’ve said countless times, there are 4 other Buss siblings in the equation – and that matters a hell of a lot more than public opinion of the team. 2 of those siblings work under Jim in scouting and the Defenders organization. These letter two would have been tagged by Dr Buss to take over from Jeannie and Jim respectively. Unless someone with inside knowledge of the fan (Ko?) can say otherwise, I’m guessing they are in Jims camp. Without their approval, Jeannie can’t do anything. Hence, her periodic media tours reminding everyone of “the promise” – it’s her passive aggressive way of putting pressure on those siblings e that want to give Jim a chance.
david h says
Anthony: coward is good at stirring the pot. if he could get an interview with the fly on the wall; he would.
it was clear and simple; interview by ambush. what it clearly shows to me is that he wished, as we all do that he would get a face to face with the face of laker’s vp of basketball operations.
now what about that interview with luke walton, now that the series vs Houston has ended?
Jim is a disaster – even if you hold him on 50% responsible for the mess the Lakers are in on the court. Jeanie has the upper hand and you note she’s being polite when saying that she does or doesn’t have the power to fire Jim. She knows that the power of the media will push Jim to resign if he doesn’t make good on his promise.
I don’t take her choosing her words cautiously as her not having the power. I think she does but doesn’t want to exercise it — she wants Jim to resign of his own volition. It’s her way of honoring her dad’s request yet doing what’s best for the organization (get Jim out of there).
Now, I’m not on board with bringing PJ back so we’ll have to see how this unfolds. I have heard Jeanie is a big fan of Sam Presti, so maybe cherry picking his top lieutenant, Troy Weaver. The perfect solution is to elevate Mitch and hire Weaver. Make PJ a consultant.
A Horse With No Name says
What has Troy Weaver done? Seriously. There’s plenty of young, smart guys in front offices now. Don’t get too excited by young and fresh.
What has Troy Weaver done?
Seriously–no guy is going to have a track record if it is a new level of gig. If you are opposed to replacing Jim and Mitch with a guy who has never run a team before, fair enough. But one of Jim’s problems is that he does have a track record.
There’s plenty of young, smart guys in front offices now.
Sure are, and that is one reason people are concerned about the Lakers’ current guys. Jim is in his 50s and has neither an advanced degree nor playing/coaching exp. Mitch has had a long and productive career, but he is in his 60s, and it may be time for him to step back. These are the kinds of things that that get talked about when a team goes 65-181 over three years.
That doesn’t mean that Jim and Mitch can’t right the ship. But there are reasons to believe that they can’t. It will be a hard job.
A Horse With No Name says
Fair points. And honestly I don’t know enough about Weaver to really assess him.
I think the lakers understand where they are with respect to Mitch’s age. He’s got plenty of energy for the job–he’s not in his seventies (see Phil). Ryan West is the young guy who is being groomed to be GM when Mitch steps down. Whether he deserves the opportunity–should it come–remains to be seen. It’s clear he’s doing very good work as lead scout, and strong scouting skills are essential to being a great GM–he’s probably better at scouting than Mitch.
Further, why I don’t get too excited by guys who have had boatloads of low draft picks to put together an excellent roster (like Presti and his associates), is that as everyone knows, it’s much easier to find diamonds when you are making multiple low picks over many drafts–that’s OKC. By way of contrast, you have Neal Oshey in Portland who is absolutely killing it in assembling a very promising team. The key there is that Oshey is a scout first, who made his reputation in scouting and has used his considerable skills in drafting and identifying undervalued NBA players to sign and trade for. Superior scouting may not be exciting to the hooked on analytics generation, but it is still the foundation of roster building (sorry Daryl Morey!)
Clay Bertrand says
Clearly, if you are going to move into the FUTURE, you won’t necessarily have guys with a huge body of work. I have seen posts that are crying for the Lakers to add an experienced GM who has built up winning teams in the past.
Uhhhhhh, yeah. There’s like, 4-5 of those guys in the league, INCLUDING MITCH, who are all still employed and are not leaving their jobs. The best guys get locked up. Period. If you want to add someone from a successful FO Management “Tree” like an underling of Presti or Buford in SA (a la Sean Marks), they are going to by definition almost, have a very limited track record.
Young and Fresh is YOUNG AND FRESH. Can’t have Young and Fresh with Championship track record of team building.
To a large degree here at this crossroads, the next hires will be leaps of faith as opposed to hires based on known quantities. That’s the nature of where we likely are in our rebuild or possibly more appropriately, our REBIRTH.
As has been said, its possible the Mitch, Jim and Co. can right the ship. But even if they do, an influx of young minded talent to ADD to Ryan West could begin to build the backbone for the structure of the future FO decision makers whether they take over sooner or later.
My inside left with Bryon. I am locked out. And without a severance package.
I for one see the balanced tightrope that Jeannie is walking.
She must at once remain loyal to her family, the team, fans on opposing sides, and the businesses that fund the business.
Not at easy task, yet she remains on the rope for now, inching her way across.
John Barber says
My impressions of Jeannie Buss is a very sweet, shy, intelligent young lady who should not have done this interview. If she was going to speak publicly, it should have been in the realm of the business aspects of the Lakers, of the profits and losses in relations to the last few seasons. Jim Buss should have done this interview in order to tell his side of the story. I just watched a episode of “First Take” with Steven Smith and he mentioned that the Lakers should reach out to Jerry West and offer him some kind of position and make amends of the past. He has been the heartbeat of the Lakers success. I hope they do NOT bring back Phil tampering or not!
Chronological age: 54
Estimated emotional age: 14
R, you may be on the high side.