Throughout the entire shortened NBA season thus far, the one person in the Los Angeles Lakers organization that has been criticized and villainized more than any is Jim Buss. With Lakers owner Jerry Buss now taking a backseat and letting his son Jim basically run the storied franchise from here on out, the moves and decisions of Jerry’s son have been questionable for Lakers fans.
It is never an easy transition between owners for professional sports franchises, especially when the previous owner has been as successful as Jerry Buss. The current owner of the Los Angeles Lakers is Jerry Buss, but now Jim Buss is being groomed to take over and in the process he has taken the reigns to help make choices for the team moving forward with Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak.
During this transition period, Jim Buss has received a lot of criticism from fans, NBA analysts and former players like Magic Johnson for his decision making. Fortunately for Buss, Kupchak has backed him up by saying that he deserves much more credit than criticism via Mike Bresnahan of the L.A. Times:
“Jim gets way too much criticism and not enough credit with the success this team has had,” Kupchak said. . “He is following in the footsteps of the most successful owner maybe of all time, which is hard to do. But since he’s gotten more and more involved, which has been about seven or eight years, we’ve had some pretty good moments.”
At this point in the NBA season, the consensus around the league and amongst avid Lakers fans is that the team needs to make a move at the deadline. With the point guard position the team’s biggest weakest, a move to acquire a floor general like Raymond Felton or Ramon Sessions could be a possibility.
Ironically enough, Jim Buss would be thought of much different in Los Angeles by Lakers fans had the Chris Paul trade not been vetoed before the season began. Acquiring Paul was the right move and the result would have been one of the most talented trios in the NBA with the perennial All-Star point guard playing alongside Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bynum.
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Unfortunately, that move wasn’t made for “basketball reasons” which is perhaps one of the most ridiculous reasons ever given by the NBA for a failed trade. So with the NBA trade deadline drawing near (Thurs. March 15), Jim Buss will continue to be under tremendous pressure to get something done and improve this team moving forward.