The news of Dr. Buss’ passing comes at a a vulnerable time for the Lakers organization. With a struggling record of 25-29 and rumors of Dwight Howard being unhappy and open to a trade, it’s natural to wonder if the Lakers will be using these next two days before the NBA trade deadline (Thursday, February 21st at 12:00pm), to put together something big.
But, Thursday will also be a meaningful day for the Lakers family, organization and community for an entirely different reason. Thursday will mark the day of the memorial service for longtime Lakers owner Dr. Jerry Buss, the heart and soul of the organization. The service is scheduled to take place at 3:00pm (three hours after the trade deadline); however, Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak and personal friend of Dr. Buss said, if a trade is in the works, missing the service is a possibility.
“I think the memorial service starts at 3 and the trade deadlines ends at 12… If we did something, I don’t anticipate it running over 3 hours. There’s always a possibility, and if something took place, I’d probably have to miss the service. But I don’t think there will be a problem.”
If the Lakers do pull something off in the next two days, don’t expect anything major, according to Kupchak who spoke before Lakers practice this afternoon.
“There’s not a way to upgrade the talent on this team, so I don’t think that’s realistic. We’ll continue to be on the phones and make calls, take calls and listen. But I don’t anticipate anything dramatic taking place in the next two days.”
Once again, Kupchak did confirm that trading Dwight Howard is off the table of possibilities, something he’s been relaying to Dwight for the past month and a half. But, before Kupchak left the media room, he also left us with this statement and a cunning chuckle.
“Nothing major, but it’s early yet”
You never know what Mitch Kupchak and the Lakers organization can pull off, especially with that extra inspiration to do it for Dr. Jerry Buss.
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