In an update to her re-released memoir, “Laker Girl,” Jeanie Buss discusses the trade that should have happened in 2011, when the Lakers briefly acquired all-star point guard Chris Paul before the deal was nixed by commissioner David Stern.
Jeanie takes Laker fans behind the scenes into the negotiating process of the new collective bargaining agreement in 2011, as well as what her role was in managing the fallout of the trade after it was shot down.
“Cleveland Cavaliersowner Dan Gilbert was so incensed by the trade that he sent a scathing email to the league office. In it, he ranted and raved, basically arguing that soon the NBA would be akin to the Harlem Globetrotters (the large-market teams) playing against the Washington Generals (the small-market teams).” Jeanie said.
Buss further goes on to explain the frustration of the rest of the owners, as such a trade meant more winning for the Lakers in their eyes.
“To those owners, this trade was like getting a pie in the face. They had walked out of a meeting where David had made them all get on the same page to save the season only for them to hear, “Surprise! The Lakers just acquired Chris Paul.” That gave them their I-told-you-so moment. I believe that if we could have delayed the trade for 24 or 48 hours, perhaps their heads wouldn’t have exploded. It was just that they felt no other teams had a fair chance to acquire Paul.”
Initially Jeanie had mixed feelings regarding the trade. While she was excited at the prospect of the Lakers acquiring a player for the future, she was hurt at the idea of losing Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom, who had both helped bring back-to-back championships in 2009 and 2010.
When the trade was rescinded, Jeanie claims that after effects on the team where too costly, hence the trading of Lamar Odom paired with the psychological damage done to Pau.
This memoir has captured the majority of Laker talk over this past week. Recently, comments in the book were released regarding her opinion of her brother Jim and his relationship with former Laker head coach Phil Jackson.
But both Jim and Jeanie would set the record straight and make it known that their personal relationship as siblings had nothing to do with the business operations of the Lakers, and that they are only focused on what is best for the franchise moving forward.
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