So, as the need to make a new labor deal is reaching its apex, let’s see how one of the most notorious owners in the history of sports could possibly play a hand in a full 2011-12 NBA season being salvaged.
Jerry Buss is arguably the most influential, well respected owner in the league, given his longevity with a franchise with as much clout as the Los Angeles Lakers. This could go along way in Buss trying to get all the owners on the same page with the whole hard cap/soft cap issue.
Building on what we said in the last couple of slides, Buss not only has the potential to galvanize all of the owners with his readiness for a hard cap, but more importantly, he has the potential to unify the men who own the “rich” teams.
It’s understandable to think owners such as Jerry Reinsdorf, James Dolan and Mark Cuban, who own the Bulls, Knicks and Mavericks repectively, may be more hesitant towards a hard cap than Buss, given their histories of spending money for players they covet.
Let’s hope Buss’ good gesture keeps the owners with the fatter wallets on the same page as time to make a deal to save the season is dwindling.
There have been reports the questionable hiring of Mike Brown as head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers was the decision of Jim Buss, Jerry’s son, possibly indicating Jim will have more “power” in making personnel decisions going forward.
Maybe Jerry Buss is willing to accept a hard cap more willingly so he and his son can prove the hiring of Brown isn't as questionable a hire as people believe, in addition to washing the bad taste out of fans’ mouths over the Lakers’ ugly exit from the playoffs last spring.
The current state of the Los Angeles Lakers could be another reason why Jerry Buss is willing to compromise on the hard cap issue.
For starters, the Lakers are not a young basketball team. Therefore, the window for Buss to win another championship with this group of players is possibly very tiny.
Now, let’s say the entire 2011-12 season is lost. Buss and the Lakers would be losing what could possibly be Kobe Bryant’s last season being considered one of the league’s elite players.
Any way you cut it, the Lakers desperately need for there to be a 2011-12 season.