Dr. Jerry Buss is widely considered as one of, if not the greatest owner in the history of sports. When he passed away last year, it hit not only the Lakers, but the entire basketball world extremely hard.
Now that the team is in the care of Jim and Jeanie Buss, things haven’t gone too well for Los Angeles’ premiere team and they have taken a lot of flak for that.
The Lakers do still have one star in Kobe Bryant, and, as he told CNBC, he understands the adjustment period the Lakers are going through right now:
You’re talking about one of the greatest owners, if not the greatest owner of all time in any sport and so it’s a tough act to follow […] you have to figure out, you know, what the leadership style is going to be going forward; what our culture is going to be going forward and that takes a little time, but we’ll get there, though.
At times, it has seemed that Bryant has put a lot of pressure on the Buss family to turn things around immediately, but it is with quotes like this that it becomes obvious that Bryant believes in this organization.
Someone else who believes in the Lakers is Bryant’s former teammate Shaquille O’Neal who also told CNBC how he believes the Lakers can turn things around:
Jim is capable, of course. Jeanie is capable, but you know where they thrived was where they hired the Jerry Wests, the Bill Sharmans, other people like that […] So I think it’s, you know, time they evaluate and maybe hire somebody smarter or, you know, do things a little different.
Shaq makes a very good point. You see many new front office people continually being taken from teams like the San Antonio Spurs or Oklahoma City Thunder because they are building up great new young executives.
Maybe it’s time for the Lakers to have some fresh blood under GM Mitch Kupchak and learn from him the same way he learned from Jerry West.
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