With the Los Angeles Lakers coming off of arguably the most disappointing season in franchise history, everyone involved with the team has come under a lot of scrutiny. Owner Jeanie Buss has not been immune from the criticism with some wondering whether she is ceding too much influence to others.
The likes of Phil Jackson and Kurt and Linda Rambis are all known to have some say within Buss’ inner circle. But in this era of the NBA, the star players have some say as well with none having more than LeBron James. There are those who believe that LeBron and his agency, Klutch Sports, are really behind the decisions being made with the Lakers.
The idea that James and Klutch Sports are the real decision-makers does not sit well with Buss and in a recent interview with Bill Plaschke of the L.A. Times, she insisted that it is she and she alone who makes the final decisions regarding the Lakers:
“Do they have final say? No. Are they running the team? No, no, not at all,” said Buss. “I am controlling owner of the Los Angeles Lakers, I’m held accountable for every decision that’s made here.”
It has been reported that it was James and Anthony Davis who pushed for the team to acquire Russell Westbrook last summer, and even though that may be the case, Buss wants it to be clear that it remains her who makes the final decision. But she also doesn’t deny that she listens to the words of LeBron and believes that’s a good thing:
“It’s normal when you have a top player or players you bounce things off of them, I think that’s smart business,” she said.
James is also entering the final season of his contract and could choose to leave next summer, which Buss obviously hopes is not the case. The Lakers are far from the only team that takes input from their stars and Buss has no problem saying that she wants LeBron to be happy with the team the Lakers put together:
“I want him to feel confident in the team, that we have the pieces to win a championship,” Buss said. “He has to be happy. … I want to make sure that he’s happy.”
The NBA is a league that does cater to its stars and none is bigger or has more influence than LeBron James. But at the end of the day, regardless of who all has Jeanie Buss’ ear, she wants it to be very clear that she is accountable for any decision made regarding the organization.
Buss ‘growing impatient’ after Lakers’ season failure
In the midst of this extremely disappointing Lakers season, many were hoping to see Buss out front more, but for the most part, she remained pretty quiet. But that doesn’t mean she wasn’t just as frustrated as everyone else with the outcome of this season.
Buss says that she is growing impatient after having the fourth-highest payroll in the league and that she is not satisfied with the outcome of this season.
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