The point I am trying to make here, though, is that as Lakers fans, we must thank Dr. Jerry Buss once again. There is no doubt that Mitch Kupchak and Buss’ son, Jim Buss, are now running basketball operations of the Lakers, but Dr. Buss is still the one signing the checks.
Sure, as fans we may have to pay a bit more to see the games in person, and may even have to pay more to watch it on television, but that’s the price of winning in Los Angeles–hopefully.
Dr. Buss could have easily sat back and let the Kobe Bryant era fizzle out, but he found a way to recharge it and give the top Lakers scorer of all time one more legitimate crack at a ring (or two). On top of that, he also managed to (potentially) provide the Lakers with a new franchise player once Bryant is long gone. Buss could have simply cut costs and still collected checks because the Lakers will always be the hot ticket in town, but he couldn’t let himself do that. He’s a winner and expects to win every year, perhaps even more than any “die hard” Lakers fan could.
To flash back, Buss provided L.A. with three championships via Shaquille O’Neal, a young Kobe Bryant, and refreshed Phil Jackson during the 2000-2002 seasons. Then after shipping away an aging O’Neal in 2004, he provided Bryant–then in his prime–with another legitimate team during the 2007-2008 campaign; in which the Lakers eventually lost to the Boston Celtics in the 2008 NBA Finals. However, the Lakers bounced back and won back-to-back championships in 2009 and 2010.
As soon as it appeared that Bryant was no longer in his prime and needed some help as he approaches his twilight years, Buss found yet another way to possibly milk a championship (or hopefully even more) out of his team.
In the meantime, the Lakers will face extremely strict expenditures for at least the next two-to-three years, but they will also provide their fans with yet another star-studded super-team to enjoy.
You’ve got to hand it to Jerry Buss. The man loves his team, and loves to see his team win–at any cost; which is very similar to the mentality his superstar player–Kobe Bryant–possesses as well.
One thing about the Lakers is that they perpetually manage to somehow script the history of basketball, and attempt to write storybook endings–whether they succeed and end happily ever after or not. This appears to be yet another attempt. If all goes well for the Lakers, this chapter will end with Kobe Bryant finishing his career on top, and Jerry Buss and his Lakers overtaking the Celtics for ownership of the most Larry O’Brien trophies.
And if it doesn’t, all should still be well as long as the Lakers still have Dwight Howard to then rebuild around in the summer of 2014.