Lakers News: Latest on Alex Caruso, Space Jam 2, Jim Buss' Front-Office Removal

Nate Loop@Nate_LoopFeatured ColumnistMay 31, 2020

Los Angeles Lakers guard Alex Caruso dribbles during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the San Antonio Spurs Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020, in Los Angeles. The Lakers won 129-102. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

Los Angeles Lakers guard Alex Caruso is capable of generating some great highlights on the basketball court.

He's 6'5" with a thin build and thinning hair, but he has a burst and a bounce that can rival just about anyone's in the league. His eye-popping feats of athleticism have endeared him to Lakers fans and basketball fans in general. LeBron James is undoubtedly the star attraction at Staples Center, but everyone loves a good Caruso cameo. 

Fans hoping that dynamic on the hardwood might carry over to the silver screen are going to be disappointed. James is set to star in Space Jam: A New Legacy, a sequel to the 1996 film starring Michael Jordan, which featured several other NBA stars in supporting roles.

While Caruso is a planet revolving around James' sun on the court, he won't be joining him on any out-of-this-world adventures. The third-year pro recently appeared on The Lowe Post podcast and said, "unfortunately there will not be an AC Fresh cameo in Space Jam."

This disappointing revelation may be an outrage to some, but don't expect Caruso to have any problems being left out of the production. Here's how he described himself to Bleacher Report's Leo Sepkowitz in September: "I'm not Hollywood."

If you're wondering who did make the cut for this film, rest assured, there will be plenty of big names. According to LakeShow World (h/t ESPN), Anthony Davis, Chris Paul, Damian Lillard and Klay Thompson will appear in the film.

Space Jam: A New Legacy is scheduled to hit theaters July 2021.


Jeanie Buss Comments on Jim Buss' Removal From Front Office

Danny Moloshok/Associated Press

The Lakers of 2020 are in a much, much better place than they were in 2017. That's when Lakers' governor and president Jeanie Buss, fired her brother Jim Buss and general manager Mitch Kupchak.

Jim Buss was the head of basketball operations, and he and Kupchak had been having a difficult time luring star players to the Lakers. The team finished that 2016-17 season with a 26-56 record. Kupchak and Buss played roles in putting together great Lakers teams in the past, but 2017 was a low point for a historically successful franchise. Tough decisions were made.

In a recent appearance on the Daddy Issues with Joe Buck and Oliver Hudson podcast, Buss shed some light on the decision to remove her brother from the front office (h/t Lakers Nation):

"When you're down and losing, and then my brother was changing coaches every 18 months. Sometimes you have to make coaching changes, I get that. But when you go from a coach like Mike Brown, whose emphasis was defense, to a coach like Mike D'Antoni, who really doesn't worry so much about defense, that's two different rosters that you need. Then the outside world thinks, 'They don't know what direction they're going in.'"

Buss also mentioned that her late father, Jerry Buss, had left her in charge of business, and her brother in charge of basketball. She also said, "So when my brother wasn't going with the way my dad did things, it was a little distressing for me."

It's worth noting that Jeannie's decision to fire Jim coincided with the latter's self-imposed deadline for turning around the Lakers. In 2014, Jim told the Los Angeles Times' Mike Bresnahan, "if this doesn't work in three to four years, if we're not back on the top," he would step down. He didn't get to see that fourth year, because his sister took action.

Lakers legend Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka took over for Buss and Kupchak. Johnson has since left, but Pelinka is still on board, and he's built one of the best teams in the league. Thanks to savvy draft picks like Kyle Kuzma, the James signing and swinging the trade for Davis, the Lakers are back on top, but it took some painful decisions to get there.