Three years ago Los Angeles Lakers part-owner and former executive vice president of basketball operation Jim Buss said that if the Lakers were not championship contenders in three years (which would be this season), then he would resign from his position to give someone else a chance to return the historic franchise to greatness.
While Buss did not do that, his sister Jeanie, who is the president of the Lakers, took matters into her own hands by firing her brother and general manager Mitch Kupchak in February.
Laker great Magic Johnson was hired as president of basketball operations to replace him, and sports agent Rob Pelinka has since been hired to replace Kupchak as general manager.
Pelinka’s introductory press conference took place on Friday at the Lakers practice facility in El Segundo, and unlike Jim Buss he would not put a timeline on when the Lakers will return to contending for a championship, via Lakers Nation reporter Serena Winters:
Rob Pelinka was ‘hesitant to paint time lines,’ but promises: we are going to be committed to excellence everyday.
— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) March 10, 2017
The Lakers have a long way to go before returning to the perennial championship caliber franchise that they once were, as they have set the franchise record for losses in each of the last two seasons and at 20-45 they currently hold the second worst record in the league.
The Lakers 2017 first round draft pick needs to fall in the top three for them to keep it though, so if they want to add another talented young player then the more losses the better to close out this season.
In his press conference Pelinka also stressed the importance of adding talented players through free agency to add to the current young core of players to build on for the future.
Despite them not having any front office experience, Johnson and Pelinka have said all the right things so far in regards to making the Lakers championship contenders again and how long it will take.