There will never be another Jerry Buss. After it is all said and done, Dr. Buss will go down as the greatest owner in the history of sports. Not even his own kin will be able to fill his shoes. Jim Buss is facing an impossible task and thus far he’s getting minimal respect.
Do we owe Jim Buss the benefit of the doubt? As Lakers fans we really don’t have much of a choice. The franchise is firmly in the grasp of the Buss family. Therefore if you support the Lakers you really don’t have much choice but to back the ownership.
As history has shown bloodlines do not guarantee of success. What made Dr. Buss so wildly successful was his ability to surround himself with great basketball minds. The likes of Jerry West and his protégé Mitch Kupchak made life a little easier on Dr. Buss. While he still had the final say, Buss always leaned on those with more knowledge than he before making rash decisions.
It’s not that Dr. Buss never made mistakes. It’s just that he always learned from them.
Thus far Jim Buss has already gotten his first taste of being on the frontline. The manner in which Mike Brown was hired has certainly placed plenty of doubt in the collective Laker conscious.
Failing to consult Kobe Bryant was an amateur move at best. Jim Buss has much to learn when it comes to the psychology of ownership. Ruling with an iron fist is great for young teams but with a veteran squad it’s an approach that usually ends very poorly.
What makes this current transitional period so tenuous is that this team is still very much a title contender. While the likes of Bill Plaschke are ready to relive the past by plundering Orlando once again the new Buss seems the type that desires to blaze his own trail.
Jim Buss has already made it clear that he’s taking a new approach. For better or worse he’s going to do things his way. That doesn’t mean he won’t have GM Mitch give Otis Smith a call. It just means you shouldn’t expect him to be too quick to offer Andrew Bynum.
Jim Buss has always been a Bynum backer and it seems unlikely that is going to change. Even after Baby Bynum’s Dallas meltdown you’d better believe Buss still has his back.
Since we could be facing a lockout in the coming weeks there is a pretty good chance there won’t be trade talks of any kind. However if you want to gauge just what kind of owner Jim Buss is going to be then pay attention to how he handles Bynum.
If Drew is dangled on the open market then it would seem Jim Buss is seeking to start anew. If he continues to stand behind Bynum then a pretty clear line will have been drawn.
Jim Buss has got to find the next franchise player for the Los Angeles Lakers. KB24 is nearing the end of his prime and within 5 years this teams will have been turned upside down. The question is do you trust Jim Buss?
No matter your answer, if you’re a Lakers fans you’ve really got no choice in the matter.