Los Angeles Lakers owner Jeanie Buss is not satisfied with how the franchise finished the 2021-2022 season. The Lakers closed out the year by not qualifying for the playoffs for the first time since 2019. As a result, the Lakers were not even a factor in the newly added play-in tournament, unlike last season. Instead, teams like the New Orleans Pelicans and San Antonio Spurs battled for seeding in the tournament. In an interview conducted with the Los Angeles Times, Buss explained her action plan on how the Lakers will get back on track.
“If we are not living up to the Lakers standard, absolutely I will look at everything,” Buss told the Los Angeles Times in an interview published Tuesday. “I will make the hard decisions because that’s what you have to do.” According to a recent by ESPN, Buss will also consider advice from former boyfriend and Lakers head coach Phil Jackson. “People see us around town; we have breakfast, lunch, dinner, whatever … it’s not anything romantic,” Buss told the Times.
“He’s somebody that knows this environment and knows the challenges I have and wants to see the Lakers successful, so he’s somebody I know doesn’t have any other agenda than for the Lakers to be successful, so he’s somebody that I can lean on.” Buss also stated that she would consider former Lakers superstar and Hall of Famer Magic Johnson’s input.
“Bottom line, the Lakers are important to him, and he wants the Lakers to win, and he wants the Lakers to be on top,” Buss told the Times. “I know that’s in his heart, and I trust him, and … my relationship with him is as good as it’s ever been.”
Buss also cleared the air on the notion that LeBron James and his agency, Klutch Sports, had control of the organization. “Do they have the final say? No,” Buss said when asked if LeBron and Klutch Sports are running the Lakers. “Are they running the team? No, no, not at all. I am the controlling owner of the Los Angeles Lakers. I’m held accountable for every decision that’s made here.”
Whatever route the Lakers take, it must maximize the final prime years of LeBron James’ career. He is not getting any younger, and a solid core of players must surround him. However, it all begins with the head coach. Shortly after the season ended, the team fired Frank Vogel finishing the year with a 33-49 record. The new head coach must be an individual that James and Anthony Davis will respect. He must also establish a culture that is conducive to winning once again.
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