Jim Buss Means Bad Lakers Basketball by Bill Yoon
Lakers Start 1 -5, Look Bad Doing It
The Los Angeles Lakers have started the season 1 – 5 against six opponents who aren’t even expected to make the NBA playoffs. The latest lower echelon team to beat the Lakers is the New York Knicks featuring Carmelo Anthony and number four draft pick Krystaps Porzingis who outplayed the Lakers number two draft pick D’Angelo Russell.
How did it get to this point? How did the premiere franchise in the NBA turn into a league laughingstock? People are already calling for the firing of head coach Byron Scott. But the person who needs to be fired is Jim Buss. He’s the architect of this team. He built this mess.
Jim Buss has been running, or ruining, the Lakers since he took over basketball operations. Buss apparently fancies himself as a basketball genius who knows more than basketball professionals who actually played the game as players, coached the game as coaches, or worked their way up through the years to become basketball executives. It was Buss who insisted on hanging on to Andrew Bynum when everyone else, including Kobe Bryant, wanted to trade him.
It was Buss who traded Marc Gasol to Memphis when he got Pau Gasol. Think about that. The Lakers could have had Marc and Pau Gasol playing side by side for over a decade. Jerry West would have never traded Marc Gasol. Buss’s treatment of Pau is the reason Pau signed for less money to go to the Chicago Bulls. Buss is the reason Marc wouldn’t even talk to the Lakers during the last free agent signing period. Buss may be the reason players like LaMarcus Aldridge did not sign with the Lakers as free agents.
Dwight Howard came to Los Angeles because he wanted to play for Phil Jackson and thought Jackson was going be his coach. Instead, Buss never called Jackson back and hired MIke D’Antoni, the only coach in the world who doesn’t think you can play two of the ten best big men on the planet together. Buss built a team that was perfect for Jackson and the triangle offense to pound teams in the playoffs then hires a run and gun coach with no post offense or championship history. Howard left after one season and the Lakers received nothing in return.
Steve Nash’s injuries and ongoing back problems were overlooked by Buss. It seems that a simple phone call to the Phoenix Suns trainers would have been enough to find out how bad Nash’s chronic back injuries were. But there was no due diligence on the part of the Lakers upper management and the Lakers acquired Nash in one of the worst trades in Lakers history.
It was Buss who did not hire Jackson, and who did who hire Mike Brown, D’Antoni, and Byron Scott in rapid succession to coach this legendary franchise. So clearly Buss does not know how to pick players or coaches.
It is time to end Jim Buss’s tenure as Lakers head of basketball operations and bring in real NBA basketball professionals to restore the Lakers to their former glory.