Los Angeles Lakers owner Jeanie Buss must be on edge after seeing a team she paid the luxury tax for failing to make the playoffs during the 2021-22 season.
Since winning a title in 2020, Buss has had to endure two disappointing seasons which puts pressure on the organization to right the ship heading into the 2022-23 season. So far, Rob Pelinka has done a good job of injecting youth and athleticism into the roster but both he and Buss have acknowledged that the Lakers aren’t done making moves this summer.
Los Angeles’ governor has been criticized in recent years for having “too many cooks in the kitchen” when it comes to basketball decision-making, but she defended her approach in an interview with Mark Medina of NBA.com:
“My style of leadership is to collaborate and to listen. I’m not a ‘my way or the highway’ person. I think it’s important to have good people and let them have a voice. Ultimately, I’m the controlling owner. That is what the NBA has, this designation for who’s accountable for all decisions in basketball, and that’s me. Ultimately, I am accountable for it. It’s my style of leadership to be collaborative.”
Buss attributed her collaborative leadership style to her late father Jerry Buss as he taught her at a young age to listen to those around her:
“My dad used to have me repeat, ‘What do they say about absolute power? Absolute power corrupts absolutely.’ He used to tell me that all the time. This isn’t a dictatorship. This isn’t about my view. I get to hear every voice. Ultimately, I will do what’s best for the Lakers organization. Certainly, you are judged by your wins and losses when you’re talking about basketball. Since I made the change with my brother, ultimately the basketball [operations] is in my control. It’s the position I’ve been in for the last six seasons now. That’s what I have to look at.”
Buss has leaned on the likes of Magic Johnson, Phil Jackson and Linda Rambis over the years and while it’s fair to wonder whether or not that group has been helpful, the team does have a championship to show for it. Whatever criticisms come Buss’ way, the only thing fans will care about is getting the Lakers back on top sooner rather than later.
Jeanie Buss receiving rave reviews for Darvin Ham hire
While there have been questionable decisions made the past couple of seasons, Buss and her brain trust can hang their hats on the hiring of Darvin Ham.
Ham was the easy choice given his experience and resume, and Buss revealed that she’s been getting rave reviews for bringing him into the fold.
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