Culture of Hoops

Jim Buss to step down if Lakers don’t contend

Image courtesy of Keith Allison/Flickr.

Image courtesy of Keith Allison/Flickr.

Baller Mind Frame’s No Layups brings you the hottest NBA stories on the web mixed with personal opinion from our very own Aaron Lanton

So Jeanie Buss posed an elementary question to her siblings: What was going on with the Lakers?

Her older brother Jim Buss, 54, in charge of the Lakers’ basketball operations, spoke up in the boardroom of the team’s El Segundo training facility and pledged to resign in a few years if the suddenly dark fortunes of the franchise weren’t reversed.

“I was laying myself on the line by saying, if this doesn’t work in three to four years, if we’re not back on the top — and the definition of top means contending for the Western Conference, contending for a championship — then I will step down because that means I have failed,” he told The Times about the meeting.

“I don’t know if you can fire yourself if you own the team … but what I would say is I’d walk away and you guys figure out who’s going to run basketball operations because I obviously couldn’t do the job.

“There’s no question in my mind we will accomplish success. I’m not worried about putting myself on the line.”

It was an emotional meeting, and the siblings — including Johnny, Janie, Joey and Jesse — agreed that Jim deserved more time on the job. Los Angeles Times

A lot of things can take place within three to four years. No coach or player with the Lakers is likely to still be a part of the organization which leaves a lot of room for great improvements or grave errors. Similar to the Lakers, the Knicks plan to attract big-time free agents in 2015 and 2016. In other words, Phil Jackson and the Buss family will be vying to sign the same players. That will be the subject of 23,349 columns for the next decade.

The Lakers have no foundation for the future, or hope for title contention next year. Mike D’Antoni has become the lame duck coach for a regime that blew its’ best chance to win in the 2012-2013 season. This saga will be interesting to watch, but likely won’t amount to much other than locker room drama until the 2015-16 season. – AL

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