Jim Buss Rumors
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.”
But the Lakers will have to make their biggest improvements internally, far from the cameras. They have to decide if they’re going to join the Brave New NBA World of 3-pointers, small ball and analytics — Russell could fit right into that kind of style of play, which should provide some hope for Lakers fans. And they have to know how to sell their post-Kobe world to the free agents of the future, and who will lead them there.
Asked about that deadline in a radio appearance with KPCC on Thursday, Jeanie Buss reiterated that timeline is still in place and that if the Lakers don’t reach their goals by then, she’s ready for change. “Yeah, absolutely,” Buss said. “This is my job. I’m part-owner of the team, but I’m also the president. The Buss family is the majority owner but we have other partners as well who are also shareholders, and I have an obligation to them. Would I make those changes? Yes. My brother understands that we have to continue to strive for greatness, and I think he would be the first one to feel that he would need to step down if he can’t get us to that point.”