Back in April, Jim Buss made a bold move with a promise to Los Angeles Lakers fans that no one saw coming. Buss let it be known that if he couldn’t turn the storied franchise around in three to four years, he’d step down as Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations.
With the Lakers struggling once again this season, the future of the franchise remains uncertain. The Lakers brass have been highly criticized for moves they’ve made and moves they haven’t, but Buss stands firm on his promise to step down if this trend continues, according to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne:
Jim put forth his own challenge, re-affirming that he'd step down if he couldn't fix it. Said he's confident & has no prob sticking to it
— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) December 12, 2014
All indications point to the Lakers missing the playoffs for a second straight season this year with the team currently sporting a record of 7-16. If the season continues the way it is going, Buss and company will be under tremendous pressure to make considerable moves in the off-season to upgrade the squad heading into what could be Kobe Bryant’s final season.
Anything can happen between now and three to four years down the road, but so far things haven’t gone well for the team.
The blockbuster trades to bring in Steve Nash and Dwight Howard were the right moves to make back in 2012. Unfortunately, neither move worked out in the Lakers’ favor with Nash dealing with injury problems that limited him to 65 games and Dwight signing with the Houston Rockets in free agency after one year in Los Angeles.
Dealing with the aftermath of the Howard and Nash moves has been rough for Buss and the franchise. Every move since then has been highly criticized with the team unable to bring in another big-name player for Kobe to the pass the torch to.
Even though things haven’t gone their way over the past two years, Buss will have opportunities to make the game-changing moves necessary to bring the team back to prominence in the Western Conference. The Lakers will have a considerable amount of cap space this summer and the next in order to bring in the top tier talent needed to turn things around.[divide]
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