jim-buss
Magic Johnson thinks the Lakers should trade Dwight Howard
Thursday , Jan , 17 , 2013 Matt Formica

Magic Johnson thinks the Lakers should trade Dwight Howard

Magic Johnson just made it clear (on National TV) that if he was Lakers CEO Jim Buss, he would trade Dwight Howard.
 
Hoopsvibe's quick call:  It's very obvious that Magic isn't the biggest fan of this Lakers team.  And rightfully so.

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Sunday , Apr , 15 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Is Ramon Sessions risking future with Lakers by opting-out?

“These fans really believe in me in this place and they really know basketball. They’ve seen the greatest of greats come through here,” he said. “It’s unreal. In my whole career, it’s never been like this, being noticed. You’re on ESPN every night or TNT. You’re with Kobe Bryant out there in the backcourt. I want to be here. I don’t know what that means or how that’s going to happen. It ain’t no secret. I’ll tell anybody that. I tell [Lakers General Manager] Mitch Kupchak. I tell my agent. I want to be here. Period. For a long time.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Ramon Sessions will probably be back in Los Angeles Lakers next season.

After all, Sessions likes the Lakers. And the Lakers like Sessions, the dynamic point guard they acquired from the Cleveland Cavaliers at the trade deadline.

Why would Sessions, who claims to be living a dream playing next to Kobe Bryant, decline a player’s option for next year? Why risk a good thing?

Well, money. Sessions wants a raise on the $4.6 million he’s due in 2013 and greater security with a long-term pact. Things can change and twelve months from now he may not have the same leverage.

The Lakers will pay Sessions this summer -if his demands are fair. His ability to attack the hoop and lightning-quick feet have provided another dimension to coach Mike Brown`s system.

That said, things are always somewhat fluid at Staples Center. Executives Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak are constantly trying to improve, which may include chasing free agent Deron Williams this summer.

It’s unlikely Williams ends up in Los Angeles. Dallas is home. And Team Cuban has been hoarding cap space in hopes of signing the perennial All-Star to a max’ money pact.

Stranger things have happened, though. For instance, nobody thought the Lakers had the assets to acquire Chris Paul. And they did. Twice.

Commissioner David Stern stepped in to nix the trade and appease militant email writing owners like Cleveland’s Dan Gilbert. Paul was then shuttled off to the Los Angeles Clippers for a sub par package.

So Sessions is taking a risk, albeit a small one, by refusing to opt-in. The impossible -- like the Lakers signing Williams -- has a way of becoming reality with the NBA`s glamour team.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Sunday , Dec , 25 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Jim Buss: Lakers won’t trade Bynum and Gasol for Howard

"I don't understand the thinking that we need saving as a franchise," Buss says. "We have three All-Stars, and we need saving?" There's an Internet report suggesting Orlando was willing to trade Howard for Bynum and Pau Gasol, but now he's shaking his head as if in pain."Where does this stuff come from?" he says. "You'd have to be kind of silly to give up two All-Stars like that for Howard. Zero truth to it. We have never been asked for Andrew and Pau and we've never offered them. I think they know we'd either say no or they would sound crazy for asking."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Publicly, Jim Buss has to downplay the Los Angeles Lakers’ interest in Orlando Magic post Dwight Howard.

Privately, the owner’s son should know the team that gets the best player wins the trade, so Buss and GM Mitch Kupchak must be open swapping Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol for Howard.

Here’s the complication: the Lakers are a fractured bunch, as most things in the world of purple-and-gold is political.

Like Bynum. For instance, Jim Buss is reluctant to trade, or even criticize, Bynum because he likes to take credit for drafting and developing the seven-foot center.

And the better Bynum plays, the more Buss can justify his role as a basketball executive within the organization.

Instead of trading Bynum, Buss has empowered him, hiring a coach, Mike Brown, who will feature his skills, and even declaring him Kobe Bryant’s equal.

So Buss' agenda and Laker politics could complicate doing what is right: swapping Bynum and Gasol for Howard.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Friday , Aug , 19 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Kobe and Laker players help victims of Jim Buss’ purge

Kobe Bryant insisted on giving some of the team's playoff bonus to two members of the Lakers' video department whose contracts were not renewed after the season. Chris Bodaken and Patrick O'Keefe split about $65,000 of the Lakers' playoff bonus.

Bodaken started with the Lakers as a ball boy in 1986 and spent the last 10 seasons as their director of video services. O'Keefe was the Lakers' video coordinator for six seasons.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The owner’s son can learn from the superstar.

Kobe Bryant led teammates in donating part of of their playoff bonus to two Laker employees who had been let go by Jim Buss because of the lockout.

The Lakers are highly profitable, and have made the Buss clan a fortune. They didn’t need to pink-slip anybody when it became clear owners and players wouldn’t agree on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

But Jim Buss saw an opportunity, laying off 20 employees, many of whom he perceived as loyal to former Coach Phil Jackson. So he’s using the current labour strife to settle a personal beef with The Zen-Master.

At least, the players showed class. Once again, Laker-nation should be troubled and disturbed by Jim Buss.

--Oly Sandor.


Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Monday , Aug , 15 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Andrew Bynum on Dwight Howard trade rumors: ‘I like L.A.’

Q: How have you endured speculation you'll be traded, or replaced next year by free agent Dwight Howard?

A: It's good to know everybody wants me; that means I'll be in this game for some time. I like L.A., and don't want to go anywhere else. It'd be good to stay in one place your whole career, and the Lakers are the most storied franchise in the league, everyone knows who the Lakers are, and I appreciate the Lakers' love.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Of course, he likes Los Angeles and wants to stay.

Andrew Bynum finally responded to rumours he’ll be traded to the Orlando Magic for Dwight Howard by stating he wants to stay with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Why wouldn’t he want to stay?

The Lakers are the NBA’s ultimate have-franchise. Their market-size, wealthy owner, and desirable location means they’ll compete year-in, year-out.

Translation: in Los Angeles, Bynum contends, has a terrific supporting cast, gets invited to famous parties, and is linked to desirable singers.

(To be fair, Orlando is also a have-franchise. Like the NBA’s 29 other franchises, it can’t compete with the lure, hype, and glamour of Los Angeles.)

Bynum knows this. He’s also knows the reason he’ll likely stay in Los Angeles long-term is because of the internal politics of Laker-nation.

Bynum is Jim Buss’ guy. Jim Buss, the owner’s son and head of the Lakers, claims to have drafted and groomed Bynum.

And Jim Buss’ has hedged what little reputation he has as a basketball executive to Bynum’s success on-court. So Bynum will be given every opportunity with the Lakers.

For instance, Jim Buss forced coach Phil Jackson to leave, despite the Zen’s stellar record, and hired the defensive-minded Mike Brown.

Brown immediately promoted Bynum to co-superstar status, putting him - right or wrong, fair or not - on equal footing with Hall of Fame guard Kobe Bryant.

Bottom line: Bynum’s protected with the Lakers. How can the Magic possibly compete?

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Sunday , Aug , 07 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Bynum to ‘deliver’ Lakers Howard, Paul, or Williams?

Is Andrew Bynum the league's most intriguing and powerful trade chip? He's considered a top-10 center in a class led by Dwight Howard, but there's currently no more pivotal pivot than Bynum. He might be able to deliver 2012 prospective free agents Howard or Chris Paul or Deron Williams to L.A., compensation to those stars' respective teams and revive Kobe's title plans. Bynum's so valuable to the Lakers that his real value is in leaving them.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Kobe Bryant aside, Andrew Bynum’s position is as safe and secure as any member of the Los Angeles Lakers.

In short, a trade is unlikely. 

The Lakers fell back in love with the seven-footer after his impressive play during the second half of last season. Healthy and fit, Bynum was dominant on both ends and helped resuscitate the purple-and-gold.

This isn’t why he’s safe and secure, though.

Owners’s son and Chief Executive Meddler (CEM) Jim Buss views Bynum’s success as validation. Jim Buss has attached what little reputation he has as a hoops-man to his center.

The CEM claims to have drafted Bynum and urged GM Mitch Kupchak to stick with him when his play, health, and/or fitness faltered.

As Bynum’s stock rises, so does Jim Buss’. That’s the way the twisted CEM sees it. It explains why new coach Mike Brown, hired by the CEM, promptly promoted Bynum to co-superstar with Bryant.

Bynum is a symbol of the new power in Laker-nation. Jim Buss will be hesitant to trade him -even if it could fetch Dwight Howard, Chris Paul or Deron Williams.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

 

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Wednesday , Aug , 03 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Kobe Bryant’s silence for Jim Buss, not Mike Brown?

"We’ve talked. We’ve met, we’ve talked several times, met several times," Bryant said. "We have been in dialogue. There has been an open dialogue.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It was the ‘how’.

Kobe Bryant had a problem with how Mike Brown was hired, and not the decision to have the defensive tsar replace Phil Jackson on the Los Angeles Lakers’ bench.

The Black Mamba was, at a minimum, expecting a heads up from management/ownership. Perhaps even the chance to offer input.

This is standard operating procedure between team and superstar in the NBA. Team wants to make a major personnel move. Team asks premier player‘s opinion. Of course, what the team does what that opinion is anybody’s guess. 

But Bryant was never asked about Brown. Not a phone call. Not a text. Not a face-to-face. Not an email. Nothing.

The reason was simple: Brown was Jim Buss’ choice. And Jim Buss, the owner’s son and new lead executive, has a specific agenda for the team.

Long-time assistant Brian Shaw was passed over for Jackson’s job -perhaps with valid reason. After giving twelve years to the organization as a player and assistant coach, Shaw deserved better than to learn he didn’t get the job via ESPN.

And Buss seems determined to promote Andrew Bynum, the talented but injury-prone center, from supporting piece to co-star status with Bryant.

So Bryant probably had nothing nice to say. So he went silent.

Fair enough.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

 

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Friday , Jul , 22 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Bynum’s ego a problem for Lakers?

His conscience is paralyzed. His sense of entitlement is blinding. So, no, actually, I wasn't surprised to see this week's photos of Andrew Bynum leaving his convertible sitting across two handicapped parking spaces while he shopped at an upscale grocery store in Westchester.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Is Andrew Bynum’s ego a problem for the Los Angeles Lakers?

Well, some think so. Today, Bill Plaschke, a veteran writer with the L.A. Times, alleges that Bynum parking in a handicap spot isn’t a temporary lapse of judgement.

Plaschke thinks Bynum ‘suffers from a disability of maturity’. He reports that this isn’t the first time the seven-footer has been caught in a handicap spot. He also calls him out for delaying surgery to accommodate a trip to South Africa and rehabbing injuries at the Playboy Mansion.

As an outsider, it’s hard to get a read on the Lakers. They’re fractured by power politics, internal dissent, personal agendas, and media bias.

The recent Bynum backlash is no different. Some see him as an ally of Jim Buss, the club’s new lead executive and son of owner Jerry Buss.

Right now, Jim Buss isn’t popular. He gets the blame for pushing out Coach Phil Jackson, hiring his replacement in Mike Brown, and alienating superstar Kobe Bryant.

Bynum, right or wrong, fair or not, is vulnerable due to his relationship with Jim Buss.

Plaschke, however, provides an objective view into the complex world of Laker-nation. He’s been with the L.A. Times for years. He’s won numerous awards. He’s a regular contributor to ESPN. And, while we're at it, he volunteers with Big Brothers.

Plaschke’s criticism seems reasonable. Bynum has been given much by the Lakers -perhaps too much. And he has yet to fulfill expectations on-and-off court.

Now is as good a time as any to start. Bynum is a 23-year old man. Perhaps he should act like it.  

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Monday , Jul , 18 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Did Brian Shaw deserve better from Jim Buss and Lakers?

“I wasn’t really told anything,” said Shaw, who had the public backing of players Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher, among others, to take over for Jackson. “Unfortunately, I found about not getting the job and who was hired for the job on ESPN. I didn’t really talk to anyone for about three weeks after that.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It’s not that he was passed over to replace Phil Jackson as head coach. And it’s not that his contract as an assistant coach wasn’t renewed.

It’s how the Los Angeles Lakers passed over and decided against renewing Brian Shaw, who won five championships in twelve seasons with the NBA’s glamour club.

Shaw discovered his fate from the media -while watching ESPN. No courtesy call.  No email. No facebook poke. No myspace message.

Nothing at all; in fact, Shaw didn't hear from the purple-and-gold for three weeks after the Brown hiring.

To review: last month, the Lakers hired Mike Brown, a former Coach of the Year with the Cleveland Cavaliers, to take over for Zen-Master Phil.

Fair enough.

Management/ownership felt the need to switch things up after the team’s mixed regular season and disappointing loss to the Dallas Mavericks in the playoffs.

Management/ownership also felt Brown should get to pick his assistant coaches. Brown, for any number of reasons, decided against keeping Shaw.

Again, fair enough.

There is, however, no justification for not telling Shaw in a timely manner. This reflects on one person: Jim Buss.

The owner’s son always had personal issues with Jackson and his allies within the organization –which includes Jim Buss’ own sister Jeanie, Shaw, and even superstar Kobe Bryant.

Of course, Jim Buss is now running the Lakers and wants to put his stamp on things. So Shaw –Jackson's loyal right hand and Robert Duvall like consigliore – was mistreated due to personal politics.

Such pettiness is never good. And such pettiness reflects on the sad-state of the Lakers. Perhaps there's reason to worry in Hollywood.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Saturday , Jul , 09 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Kobe forced to share Lakers with Bynum?

Yes, aging star Kobe Bryant will still be a part of the equation, but he was put on notice over the summer when Jim Buss hired new coach Mike Brown without so much as a brief discussion with Bryant. The message is clear: Brown is Bynum's coach, and the team belongs to the young center as well.

 
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Only the Los Angeles Lakers.

Only the dysfunctional purple-and-gold would chase away a Hall of Fame sideline boss, strip a once-in-a-generation talent of his franchise-face status, and hand the reins to a talented but injury-prone center.
 
While the Lakers didn’t fire Phil Jackson, they made it easy for him to leave. Management, specifically Jim Buss, made The Zen take a pay cut last summer –despite winning consecutive championships.
 
Then management, specifically Jim Buss, meddled. Then management, specifically Jim Buss, prodded, intruded, and got petty.
 
So Jackson walked. Perhaps he’s meditating in some remote hideaway. Perhaps he’s penning another best seller on his life. Perhaps he and girlfriend Jeannie Buss –yes that would be Jim’s sister and Jerry the owner's daughter- are plotting a comeback.
 
Bottom line: Jackson left, in part, because of Jim Buss. The money, spotlight, and chance to win further championships weren’t worth dealing with the owner’s pushy son.
 
Alienating a coach is one thing. Alienating the talent is worse. Reports indicate that Jim Buss has alienated Kobe Bryant.
 
Before the lockout, the Lakers informed Bryant, one of the game’s great players, he was no longer the team's undisputed top dog. Bryant was then informed he’d share this role with Andrew Bynum.
 
Bynum, when healthy, is a top center. His play during the second half of last season was superb. Bynum, however, is fragile, spending significant time on injured reserve.
 
Then there’s the optics of sharing. Bryant wouldn’t share with the most dominant player in NBA history, Shaquille O’Neal, and instead engaged in a feud that broke up a dynasty.
 
Why would he share with Bynum, a still unproven entity? Well, he won’t.
 
Bryant has recently been silent. He hasn’t commented on the lockout, the hiring of Mike Brown or anything Laker-related since losing to the Dallas Mavericks in the second round of the playoffs. 

His silence is powerful.  Bryant knows Jim Buss pushed Phil Jackson - his friend, mentor, and coach – out. Bryant knows Jim Buss hired Brown, in part, because he’d increase Bynum’s role. And Bryant knows Bynum is Jim Buss’ guy.

So this is politics. Jim Buss never had a job in basketball before getting handed the keys to the Lakers from his father. 
 
Jim Buss, to his credit, drafted Bynum. He believes Bynum’s development and success will validate his standing within the game.
 
Here’s what Jim Buss doesn’t get: Bynum must to earn the top dog mantle. The process must be organic and natural. Or it will wreck the team.
 
Right now, Jim Buss is forcing Bynum on Bryant and the Lakers. The players will resent Jim Buss. They’ll resent Bynum. They'll resent the politics.
 
Only the Los Angeles Lakers could be such a mess without having played a single game.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
 
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Monday , May , 30 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Jim Buss: We should have consulted Kobe about hiring Mike Brown

Lakers owner Jim Buss expressed regret that Kobe Bryant was not consulted about the hiring of Mike Brown. "Looking back on it, we should have contacted Kobe," Buss says. "Kobe said it was management's job to pick a coach. He just said, 'Defense first.' That's what we were doing, but we should have reached out to him.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It’s one thing not to consult Kobe Bryant about hiring Mike Brown as coach. It’s another thing to admit as much publicly.

There’s no reason for the Buss clan, who own the Los Angeles Lakers, to give interviews about hiring a new sideline boss and whether their superstar, Bryant, was involved.

There’s also no reason to admit fault in not involving Bryant. He's their employee. And, on paper, Brown meets Bryant’s criteria perfectly. 

So why not keep this all in-house? What possible good can come from letting the press know this?

Now they get to do what they love most: speculate. This is especially appealing because it involves the Los Angeles Lakers, the NBA’s glamour franchise.

And Brown’s already tough job just got tougher.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.



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Tuesday , May , 25 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

End of L.A. Zen: Will Phil Jackson leave Lakers for Bulls or Nets?

"There has been no direct contact between Bulls officials and Jackson, the sources told Broussard, but people close to both parties have spoken and come away with the belief that Jackson would be open to a potential reunion in Chicago next season.

Gar Forman, the Bulls' general manager, refused to comment on the club's coaching search when reached Monday night by telephone.

The Bulls are not alone in registering interest in a coaching reunion with Jackson. NBA coaching sources told ESPN.com's Marc Stein on Tuesday that the New Jersey Nets have made similar back-channel inquiries about their chances of luring Jackson away from the Los Angeles Lakers at season's end."

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HoopsVibe's Call: Money and power.

These are the reasons Coach Phil Jackson could leave the Los Angeles Lakers when his contract expires at season's end. Jerry Buss, the team's owner, wants the Hall of Fame sideline boss to reportedly take a $5.0 million salary reduction next season.

Jackson is earning $12.5 million for 2009-10, the last year on his contract. Buss hopes he'll do the exact same job in 2010-11 for $7.5 million.

There's also a power struggle going on. Buss is aging. He named his son, Jim, as successor -even though his daughter, Jeanie, enjoyed great success in the team's marketing department. Rumor has it Jeanie was passed over for the Lakers' top job because her long-term partner is Jackson.

Jackson, health permitting, has repeatedly said he wants to continue coaching the purple-and-gold. He's settled out west; his team will contend for years.

Still, with a huge pay cheque available and the chance to partner with a top free agent, Jackson could conceivably go back on his word. 

Will Jackson leave the Lakers? Get at us in the comment box below with thoughts.