Earlier today we told you that it was time for Jeanie Buss to start to look outside her inner circle in an attempt to gather information on how to move the Lakers forward in the wake of Magic Johnson’s resignation. Then, well, the Lakers and Luke Walton decided to “mutually part ways”.
So, this seems like a perfect chance for Jeanie to, you know, take the deliberate and patient approach to finding a new President (or, even, Vice President — like the title Jim Buss held) of Basketball Operations, then let that person determine how they might (or might not want to) work with Rob Pelinka in order to conduct the search to hire a replacement for Walton.
Yeah, seems like that’s not going to happen per ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne.
I’m going to say this as clearly as possible. I believe this is a mistake.
Whatever you think of Rob Pelinka (and I certainly have my thoughts that I’ll share at a later time), the Lakers, have had a structure of a VP of Basketball Ops with a General Manager beneath him since Jim Buss was elevated to the VP post in 2005. Assuming they keep that structure in place moving forward, the first search the Lakers should be executing is one to replace Magic, not one to replace Luke.
After all, the Lakers themselves, in a press release, said they planned to “work in a measured and methodical fashion to make the right moves for the future of our organization” after Magic resigned. Moving to hire a coach before a full front office is in place to have input on the process and the outcome is the exact opposite of measured and methodical.
If this is how the Lakers plan to operate moving forward — saying one thing and then doing the other — they’ll be putting it right out in front that their words cannot be taken at face value. That is not how you foster respect or a positive reputation in a league where operating in good faith is a necessity to relationship building. And while it’s impossible to know if we’re at that point yet, even the appearance of moving in that direction is a hole the Lakers do not want to try to dig themselves out of.
So, if I were giving advice, I’d say to pull back a little bit. Moving quickly and acting rashly hasn’t exactly worked out well for this franchise recently.