HoopsHype Jim Buss rumors

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March 11, 2015 Updates

Before he goes, Bryant hopes to see the Lakers transition to the player who will lead the franchise back to a championship. "I'd rather much rather hand the keys over to somebody that can take this organization right from the jump," Bryant said. "But if not, even when I retire, that's one of the things that I'll be hell-bent on with [owners] Jeanie [Buss] and Jimmy [Buss], to make sure this franchise gets back." Los Angeles Times

February 20, 2015 Updates
February 11, 2015 Updates

Former Los Angeles Lakers star Magic Johnson said he has serious questions about whether Jim Buss can turn around the team, which is mired in the worst period in franchise history. "Jim is trying to do it himself and trying to prove to everybody that this was the right decision that my dad gave me the reins," Johnson said Tuesday on ESPN's "First Take." "He's not consulting anybody that can help him achieve his goals and dreams to win an NBA championship." ESPN.com

Later, in an appearance on Stephen A. Smith's SiriusXM/Mad Dog Sports Radio show, Johnson again questioned Buss, although this time he did so while referencing Lakers star Kobe Bryant. "And I really believe this: [Kobe] should ... say to Jim and them, 'Look, if you don't sign one of these free agents [this offseason], man, I'm just not going to play next year,'" Johnson said. ESPN.com

January 7, 2015 Updates
December 12, 2014 Updates

But tank? As far as Lakers president Jeanie Buss is concerned, tanking is "unforgivable" and "irresponsible." "I think the teams that use that as a strategy are doing damage," Buss said as part of a wide-ranging ESPN The Magazine joint interview with her brother, and Lakers president of player personnel, Jim Buss. "If you're in a tanking mode and you're doing that for three years or whatever, that means you've got young players from the years that you were at the bottom that you're teaching bad habits to. I think that's unforgivable. "If you're tanking and you have young players or you keep a short roster, you're playing guys out of their position or too many minutes, you're risking injury. It's irresponsible and I don't think it belongs in any league." ESPN.com

November 13, 2014 Updates

The Buss Family’s love affair with Bryant is well-known in NBA circles. “I don’t see them trading Kobe, not at all,’’ said one rival NBA team president. “The Lakers almost have to keep him, as much for business reasons as anything else, and I believe that’s what they’re going to do.’’ Forbes.com

Buss, 30, also has an important role with the Lakers. “I serve as an alternate governor on the Board of Governors,” he said. “I've been doing that over six years now.” His sister Jeanie Buss is the Lakers' president and governor. The team's patriarch passed away in February 2013, to cancer complications. “Fortunately my father was very organized for us,” said Joey. “He did a lot of the estate planning. He set up everything up in such a way that it was very easy for us to pick up and go.” Los Angeles Times

According to an internal league memo which ranked the projected profitably of each team for last season on the basketball side of their business, the Lakers - who have a local television deal with Time Warner that is worth up to $5 billion and could last up to 25 years – led the league at $100.1 million. The Chicago Bulls were a distant second at approximately $61 million, and the Spurs – who were among the 21 teams projected to be profitable – were in sixth place. According to a person who has the memo which was first revealed by the web site, Grantland, the Spurs' profits were projected at $26.1 million. The person spoke to USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity because the memo was private. USA Today Sports

November 10, 2014 Updates

As for the idea that he might play beyond those two seasons, one that was endorsed by Jeanie Buss in a recent interview with USA TODAY Sports when she expressed a desire to re-sign Bryant after his current contract is done, Bryant isn't seeing it. For better or worse, he reiterated as he has in the past, this 19-season marriage that has brought him far more joy (five championships) than it has pain will be over after the 2015-16 campaign. "Nah, not really," he said with a grin and a shake of the head when asked if he can envision playing beyond his current contract. "But I'm so loyal to this organization, there's not a chance (of him leaving)…I've been really fortunate to win a lot of games here, a lot of championships here. You can't (expletive) with (that)." USA Today Sports

October 23, 2014 Updates

Abbott’s piece de resistance is a rarely-attempted defense of Jim Buss, suggesting that he gave Bryant that $48.5 million last winter—before Kobe played, after which he came back and lasted six games—to avoid a public squabble over a new contract. Actually, Jeanie Buss made that call, not her brother. After losing Howard, they were terrified of losing Kobe, although at his pay scale, he had nowhere to go. The real key for the Buss kids was it was what their father did, as in 1991 when he gave Magic Johnson a one-year $14.6 million extension, bigger than half the NBA payrolls at the time. Forbes.com

October 21, 2014 Updates

Roland Lazenby: As Jerry West told me, the Lakers are a franchise to print money. Right now Jim Buss is just printing 20s. Imagine if he had a team. Twitter @lazenby

October 20, 2014 Updates

The view in the Lakers' front office is that any real rebuild will have to wait until after Bryant's retirement. "This has finally come home," says a Lakers insider. "Major players don't want to play with Kobe, and Jimmy is waiting for him to leave. ESPN.com

In most ownership groups, nobody is relying on the team as the prime revenue stream; the team is the high-risk end of a much bigger portfolio. In LA, the team is the linchpin supporting six heirs. And there is no more important income than the 20-year, $3 billion Time Warner deal to broadcast Lakers games locally. One well-placed source who has reviewed Lakers team finances says the Lakers' annual income from that deal hinges on ratings, which tend to go up when Bryant is on the court. If the team had jettisoned Bryant and tanked the past season in the name of a high 2014 draft pick, the resulting low ratings would have smacked the business of the Lakers hard. ESPN.com

July 17, 2014 Updates

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