Jim 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.
Buss, who shares the majority ownership of the Lakers with his five siblings, said the Lakers’ franchise is not on the market. “There is no point to sell, because it’s a family business,” he said. “We have Jesse [Buss] who runs the scouting and does an incredible job. Joey [Buss], who is the business side and runs the D-Fenders and does a great job. They’re the future of the Lakers. “We’re not going to sell, that’s all there is to it.”
In February, Lakers Coach Byron Scott downplayed his use of analytics but has since gone on record, via radio on The Beast 980, that he’ll “use analytics a lot more” this season. On Thursday, Lakers part-owner and executive vice president of basketball operations Jim Buss told The Times, “We’ve been using them for quite a long time. That’s basically [on] what I make all my decisions, is my own analytics.”
Buss said the team has relied on an analytics staff for “six [or] seven years, but before that we were breaking down shot charts, everything we could get our hands on.” To the notion the Lakers are behind the times, Buss simply disagrees. “It’s an unfair assessment,” he said. “We don’t announce what we do … if we are ahead of the game why would we tell people what we’re doing, so that they can catch up?”
On Thursday Jim Buss, part-owner and executive vice president of basketball operations, spoke to The Times about the upcoming season, the team’s draft picks, his rebuilding plan — and what could be the final season of Bryant’s career. “We’re going to approach it like it is, but that doesn’t mean it is,” Buss said of Bryant. “I’m not going to sit there and say, ‘This is it, Kobe, you’re done,’ because it’s not my decision, it’s his decision.”