Jesse Buss Rumors
Los Angeles Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak announced today that Jesse Buss has been promoted to assistant general manager/director of scouting, Ryan West to director of player personnel, and Clay Moser to assistant coach/director of basketball strategy. Buss most recently served as the Lakers’ director of scouting for the past three seasons, overseeing all scouting operations in preparation for the NBA Draft, in addition to his own scouting responsibilities. In his new role, Buss will continue to contribute to personnel decisions under Kupchak, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations Jim Buss, and Assistant General Manager Glenn Carraro, and will also continue to assist the Lakers’ NBA D-League team, the D-Fenders, with their draft and scouting. Originally joining the organization in 2006, Jesse spent two seasons as a basketball operations assistant before serving as a scout from 2008-11, and as scouting coordinator for the 2011-12 season.
The Wisconsin-LaCrosse graduate brings over 25 years of professional basketball management and coaching experience to the newly-created position, where he will work directly with the coaching and analytics staffs to integrate ideas and information between the departments. Moser will work closely with Director of Analytics Yuju Lee and Associate Director of Analytics Aaron Danielson. Lee brings a wealth of statistical and computer science knowledge to his position, holding MS degrees in each discipline from UCLA, while working closely with the basketball operations, coaching, and training staffs to incorporate statistical analysis into the day-to-day operation of each department. Lee was originally hired as a consultant by the Lakers for the 2012-13 season, contributing to a variety of analytics projects.
What exactly is your role with the Lakers? Jesse Buss: My job as the Director of Scouting basically consists of scheduling our scouting staff to see college games for the upcoming season, helping organize meetings with all of our scouts, and scouting prospects on a regular basis. I’m in constant contact with our staff. We’re constantly bouncing ideas off of each other of what players we need to spend most of our time focusing on, important events we need to attend, and just talking about what we’ve seen throughout the entire scouting year. I share an office in El Segundo with Ryan West, and him and I talk almost everyday—about everything that goes into scouting. Basically the day after the draft and during the off-season it’s more about preparation for the upcoming season and the following draft.
What was it like growing up in a “basketball family”? Especially when your father, the late, great Dr. Jerry Buss, was one of the most iconic sports owners in history? Buss: It definitely added to all of our competitive natures. As a family, we love to win and we’re very dedicated in doing so. My dad was able to instill that in all of us at a young age. For me personally, it was great to be able to share a deep passion amongst loved ones and often find common ground through it.
JD: If you could sum up the ‘Buss legacy’ in one sentence, how would you describe it? Buss: That’s tough. I would say he was very successful in whatever he put his hands on, but the most important thing is that he had a strong presence and it proved to be the right way to run the franchise.
I recall a past interview that you had given to Lakers’ beat reporter Mike Trudell, in which you said your brother, Jim Buss, took you under his wing. What are some of the things that you picked up from him? Buss: The first couple of scouting trips I did years ago were with him. He kind of just showed me the ropes in the sense of what the job entails. I would probably say the most important impact that he’s had on me is just the trust he’s put in me, and also at the same time just telling me to trust and believe in myself, as well.