LA Lakers: Predicting the Next 5 Bad Decisions Jim Buss Will Make for the Team
After Phil Jackson’s retirement became official, it was reported Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss had turned over control of the team to his son Jim Buss, putting him in charge of finding the team’s next head coach.
This largely explains the hiring of Mike Brown as the new coach of the Lakers. The hiring of Brown had fans scratching their heads. It was assumed for years that Brian Shaw would succeed Jackson as coach of the team, given his understanding of the triangle offense and relationship with Kobe Bryant.
This was seen as the team trying to turn the page on the Phil Jackson era.
Not only was the hire a surprise to fans, but Kobe Bryant also wasn’t consulted before the team hired Brown as coach.
So should fans be worried? Is the hiring of Brown the start of a series of questionable moves going to be made by Buss?
While some will probably call me a pessimist, I have decided to predict the next five bad decisions Jim Buss will make.
5. Jim Buss Will Overlook the Team's Young Prospects
The Los Angeles Lakers are expected to win every season; therefore, it doesn’t make sense to try to stock talent through the draft.
Now that Jim Buss is in control and has already made a questionable coaching hire, the pressure to win will be even more magnified.
Therefore, Buss may not have any plans to develop the likes of Devin Ebanks, Darius Morris or Andrew Goudelock. I am not saying any of the three are going to be future superstars and should be labeled untradeable, but they could definitely develop into nice role players. Also, the Lakers could use a shot of youth and athleticism on their aging roster.
It could be silly to jump the gun and assume the youngsters can’t bring anything to the table.
4. Jim Buss Will Add the "Wrong Type" of Players to the Roster
While the Los Angeles Lakers are still a very talented basketball team, they will likely need a few roster tweaks to seriously contend for a championship again.
Unfortunately, it’s become a common trend for people running professional sports teams to go after players who look good on paper, instead of going after the ones who would mesh well with the current team members.
The Lakers are used to running the triangle offense, so the organization had a better handle on which players were a good fit for their system in years past.
With Mike Brown bringing in a new offensive system and Buss possibly eager to wield his newfound control, it would be much easier to bring in a "sexy player" instead of one who could fill a void the team currently has.
3. Jim Buss Will Stick with Mike Brown Longer Than He Should
The hiring of Mike Brown as coach of the Los Angeles Lakers was an unexpected one. Not only was it surprising, but it also appears to be unpopular. Very few fans think Brown will be the right fit for the team.
Theoretically, let’s say Brown does a terrible job as coach of the Lakers. Will Jim Buss be willing to swallow his pride and admit Brown was a bad hire?
Something tells me the answer to that question is no. Therefore, fans may be stuck with Brown as coach longer than they need to be.
2. Jim Buss Will Hastily Trade Pau Gasol
Before Phil Jackson retired, it was assumed Andrew Bynum was the Lakers’ biggest trade chip and would be traded long before Pau Gasol or Lamar Odom.
But along with the recent hiring of Mike Brown, Jim Buss is responsible for the Lakers drafting Andrew Bynum in 2005.
Given Buss’ newfound power, he has been reported as saying Bynum is untradeable.
Now the chances of Gasol being traded have likely increased. Despite his slump in last spring’s playoffs, though, he is still more talented and durable than Bynum.
I am not necessarily suggesting the Lakers should trade Bynum, but I would trade him before I would Gasol.
1. Jim Buss Will Wait Too Long to Bring in Kobe Bryant's Successor
With the best days of Bryant’s career behind him, the Lakers will need to have a superstar waiting in the wings to take his place as the team’s alpha dog.
Based on what we talked about in the previous slide, will Buss put too much stock in Bynum being the face of the franchise after Bryant leaves?
Maybe, maybe not. However, let’s hope Buss doesn’t put all of his eggs into one basket; otherwise the Lakers could be going through a rebuilding phase after Kobe retires, much like they did when Shaquille O’Neal was traded in 2004.