HoopsHype Jim Buss rumors

November 26, 2013 Updates

In the end, the negotiation went rather quickly. Less than two weeks from beginning to end. Because in the end, Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers wanted the same thing: for him to have the opportunity to retire as a Laker. "This wasn't something I decided to do; this wasn't something [general manager] Mitch Kupchak decided to do. This was a Buss family decision," Lakers executive vice president of player personnel Jim Buss told ESPNLosAngeles.com on Monday night, after the team inked Bryant to a two-year, $48.5 million extension. ESPN.com

Buss said the decision to extend Bryant, and keep him as the highest-paid player in the NBA at ages 36 and 37, was an easy one for the Buss family. "Loyalty is one of the values our dad instilled in us," he said. "It's how he ran the Lakers and how we aspire to continue to run the Lakers. It's what our fans and iconic players deserve." ESPN.com

October 30, 2013 Updates

[Lakers VP] Jim Buss has said that he is not going to let you become a free agent or go elsewhere. Your thoughts on those words? Bryant: "I thought it was a great actually on his part to kind of silence some of the conversation that was brewing. I'm sure we will be in conversation. I'll let [my agent] Rob [Pelinka] handle that. Obviously, I have a lot to focus on right now so I will let them handle that." Q: So that means you won't explore free agency next summer? Bryant: "Am I a free agent right now? No. Next summer is next summer. How do I know what is going to happen? Jim Buss just said they're going to start conversations now. We will start the conversations and go from there." Yahoo! Sports

October 26, 2013 Updates

"I want to put an end to any speculation that we would allow Kobe to become a free agent," Buss told ESPNLosAngeles.com on Friday night. "That's not going to happen. Kobe is a top priority for us. He's a Laker legend and always will be. I don't think we're done winning championships with him yet. "[Lakers general manager] Mitch Kupchak and [Bryant's agent] Rob Pelinka have been talking, but with him being hurt, it has slowed the process some. I don't know when it'll get done, but I have faith in Rob and Mitch to work things out." ESPN.com

September 30, 2013 Updates

The three decided it would be good for Jeanie Buss and Mike D'Antoni to finally talk. Mike D'Antoni confirmed he had a great meeting with Jeanie Buss within the past 10 days. They also spoke during a Lakers' coaching staff party hosted by Mike's brother Dan D'Antoni, a Lakers assistant. "Now everybody is on the same team and we're pulling in the same direction trying to get this done," Mike D'Antoni said. "It was inevitable. It had to happen the other way, but this is a good spot we are in, no doubt." Yahoo! Sports

September 26, 2013 Updates

In conversations I had with Jim Buss earlier this month, I was struck by how deeply he not only respected his father's opinion but also relied on it. Several times over the past couple of seasons, Jim had the opportunity to assume greater power or to make decisions on his own. Each time, he went out of his way to involve his father and give him the final say. "He'd say, 'Jim, you have the final hammer,'" Buss said. "I said, 'No, I don't. My final hammer is to say you are the final hammer.'" ESPN.com

Jim and Jeanie didn't communicate because they trusted that their father knew best, that he would always make the right call. Given his track record, that was not only understandable but also wise. Even when things didn't turn out the way they might have hoped -- as was the case with the Paul trade -- there was still comfort in knowing Jerry Buss had made the final decision. But that comfort is gone. Sister and brother have to make decisions without their father's input, trusting their instincts and hoping all they learned from him will be enough. As anyone who has lost a parent knows, those steps are unsteady for a long time. ESPN.com

September 25, 2013 Updates
September 23, 2013 Updates

Jeanie Buss, the chief of the Los Angeles Lakers' business operations and fiancee of Hall of Famer Phil Jackson, wrote in an upcoming update to her "Laker Girl" memoir that she felt the hiring of Mike D'Antoni as head coach last year instead of Jackson was "a betrayal." Buss, in an excerpt published Sunday in the Los Angeles Times, wrote she "felt she got played," referring to the decision ultimately made by her brother Jim, which she has said took her and Jackson by surprise and had been an unsettling experience. ESPN.com

"I felt that I got played. Why did they have to do that?" Jeanie Buss wrote in the November edition of the book originally published in 2010. "Why did Jim pull Phil back into the mix if he wasn't sincere about it? ... "Phil wasn't looking for the job, and then he wasted 36 hours of his life preparing for it when they were never in a million years going to hire him anyway. "How do you do that to your sister? How do you do that to Phil Jackson?" ESPN.com

Jim Buss, speaking to ESPN.com's Ramona Shelburne for a profile published earlier this month, said the hiring of D'Antoini was reflective of the wishes of their father, Jerry Buss, a longtime owner of the Lakers who died in February after an 18-month battle with cancer. "We did the coaching search and interviews and fed him all the information," Jim Buss said. "And he said, 'This is who I want. D'Antoni's the man.' Knowing that in the future we had to rebuild, he felt that Phil was not a guy to rebuild. It's not fair to him. It was actually more of a respectful thought towards Phil." ESPN.com

September 22, 2013 Updates
September 16, 2013 Updates

In an interview with Fox Sports Radio 570 AM, Jim Buss spoke about the decision making process that goes on within the Lakers, and whether or not their system works: Jeanie would have probably the ultimate say [...] the system has worked for years. Jeanie has been running the business side for years and years and it has been working. Lakers Nation

Most assume that Jeanie has the most respect amongst their NBA peers and Jim conceding that Jeannie has the final say in major Laker decisions that cross the basketball and business operations, shows his status within the organization. Buss also added that he has the final say in basketball decisions, but rarely does it come down to one person’s say. In the end, the Buss family has a system that has been working and until it is proven it won’t work, it will continue on. Lakers Nation

September 11, 2013 Updates

Like everything in Lakerland for the past 35 years, Jerry Buss' judgment gave everyone comfort. He'd won enough big bets in his life that if he said something was a good risk, people tended to trust in it. In his last 10 years of life, and in his final will and testament, Jerry Buss trusted his son Jim to make the basketball decisions for the Lakers. "If he didn't think I was capable of doing this, I guarantee he wouldn't have put me here," Buss said. "He would have arranged something else. But over years of dealing with him on every level and every contract and every negotiation and every thought of building a philosophy to win championships ... My dad trusted me. I know for a fact that if he didn't believe in what I was doing, he would not have just said, 'Well you're my son. Here you go.' No. That's not how I got this job." ESPN.com

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