Things are getting progressively more dysfunctional for the Lakers these days. In the past 72 hours we’ve seen players call out executives over trade demands, and have read a startling article from CBS’ Ken Berger reporting on the strange happenings in the executive suits of the Staples Center, and tried to keep all of this in perspective as there is still half a season to be played.
Now, Laker legend and current ABC/ESPN analyst Magic Johnson, has chimed in on the situation. Johnson discusses the front office problems surrounding the Lakers, and says something that should alarm most Laker fans.
“It’s not Mitch’s situation anymore. Mitch isn’t running the team. Jim Buss is running the team,” Johnson said. “Mitch has to follow the direction of Jim Buss and what he wants. I wouldn’t say Mitch is the problem. He’s going to do his job.”*
Things seem to be getting worse for a team that is finding it increasingly difficult to keep its front office shenanigans behind closed doors.
Johnson did go on to offer some advice to the team, though, and believes it could offer a bit of help in containing the situation before it completely spirals out of control.
Johnson said Jim Buss should meet personally with Kobe Bryant because the 14-time All-Star “just wants to be informed as a leader and future Hall of Famer and a guy who has brought five championships to the Lakers.”*
Considering what Bryant’s done for the team, it really isn’t that much to ask of Buss. Even though Buss doesn’t owe this to Bryant, or anybody else on the team for that matter, keeping your best player happy is generally a smart idea, especially when all it takes to do so is something as trivial as this.
Ultimately this seems to be nothing more than a power struggle, which is a bad situation for everybody. However, if the organization can improve communication within itself it’s likely everyone will benefit.