Jeanie Buss criticizes previous Lakers’ regime, which included her brother
Los Angeles Lakers controlling owner Jeanie Buss made a controversial decision last year to revamp the franchise’s basketball operations department, which included removing her own brother from his previous position. Now that the Lakers have landed LeBron James, it is clear Buss feels validated.
In a conversation with ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne, Buss credited president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka for landing one of the biggest free agent prizes in NBA history. She compared them to the “previous regime,” which she indicated was far less prepared.
“Magic and Rob, they really prepared and did their homework, where I think maybe the previous regime was a little bit more roll the dice and then react,” Buss said. “We had our best-case scenario, but there was a plan B and a plan C and a plan D and E.
“Nothing was really up to chance other than the player’s decision. It’s up to [James] to decide, but we’d done everything that we could.”
Buss said in past years the Lakers got caught in some situations that reflected poorly on them as an organization.
“We’d gone into a free-agency period with no coach,” she added. “How are you going to convince somebody to come if you don’t know who the coach is going to be? And they [the previous regime] were like, ‘Well, they’ll have feedback into who the coach would be.’
“I’m like, ‘What if you can’t get the one that they want?’ I didn’t understand or like that process.”
If you heard some of the remarks one former Lakers coach made about Jim Buss and Kupchak, it seems like communication became a big problem after Jerry Buss passed away in 2013. Jeanie Buss obviously feels those issues have been remedied, and LeBron’s decision to sign with the Lakers after a top secret meeting with Johnson and Pelinka supports that.