Jim Buss: Lakers Exec Must Put Ego Aside to Help Team Find Success
Being the owner's son comes with many privileges, one being all sorts of power and decision-making abilities, things that far exceed what your official title would.
While Jim Buss has made some excellent decisions—he was the driving force behind the team's selection of Andruw Bynum in the 2005 draft—he never really got along with legendary coach Phil Jackson. (h/t Yahoo! Sports and ESPN).
Nearly everyone who follows the game believes that Phil Jackson is the perfect choice to replace the recently fired Mike Brown as head coach of the talented but under-performing Lakers' team—even if some of those people aren't naming names:
Jim Buss has another big decision. The @lakers need a championship caliber coach.— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) November 9, 2012
Unfortunately, Buss' animosity, dislike, or whatever we want to call it towards Jackson poses a problem towards reaching that point.
Long-time NBA insider Ric Bucher, now with CSN, reports that Jackson would accept a return to the Lakers under one condition—that Buss relinquish all of his player personnel decision-making authority to Jackson, not GM Mitch Kupchak.
Considering that Buss was quick to move away not only from Jackson following the 2010-11 season, but anyone who was deemed a "Jackson guy"—like assistant coach Brian Shaw—you'd have to believe that Jim isn't in any rush to relinquish any power at all, especially to Jackson.
Unfortunately, this may become a scenario where Lakers' majority owner—and Jim's father, Jerry—needs to step in and assert his power.
Phil Jackson is the right man for the job. He's not considered one of the greatest basketball coaches of all time for nothing. If swallowing his pride and taking a back seat to a proven winner is what it takes, then Jim Buss needs to suck it up and take the hit.
The Lakers are bigger than Jim Buss; they are bigger than the Buss family. Jerry knows that and so does his sister, Jeannie, another Lakers' executive who has been romantically involved with the Zen-Master for quite some time.
Jim Buss might be a solid evaluator of talent, but that doesn't mean he knows how to win an NBA Championship.
Phil Jackson does.
Jim Buss needs to step aside and allow Jackson—and whomever he decides to bring with him onto the coaching staff—do their thing.
That includes whatever decisions he's making today.
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