The Los Angeles Lakers are currently making strides in their rebuilding process with a newly established young core and head coach Luke Walton. The roster had an unfortunate setback, after dealing with some injuries following their 10-10 start to the season.
Although they finished their recent seven-game road trip with a 1-6 record, the players continue making adjustments, learning, and evolving their game as a part of the learning process. Results aren’t expected overnight, but rather are a part of what it takes to make it to the next level.
The progress being made is a drastic difference from a few seasons ago when the franchise was suffering from a lack of talent around the end of Kobe Bryant’s tenure. Besides his financial impact on the team, the ball being in the legend’s hands meant hindering the progress of players like Jordan Clarkson and D’Angelo Russell.
Upon two of the worst seasons in franchise history, part owner and president Jeanie Buss was facing a lot of pressure regarding the outlook of the franchise. The Lakers not only needed to monitor their roster but also had questions about their management and organization hierarchy.
Jeanie has faced tremendous pressure from the media and those outside the Lakers organization about the position of her brother, Jim Buss and his role in the long-term plans of the organization. Those around the Lakers understand that Jim gave himself a three-year grace period of sorts, to turn the franchise around into a contending team.
Now in the final season of that period, Jeanie recently stated that it is still early to make any decisions regarding any possible changes in the organization, via Bill Oram of the O.C. Register:
“We’re like every other team that we will play a season and we will assess that season when it’s over,” Jeanie Buss said. “No reason to speculate on any possible changes. It’s a waste of time to speculate.”
The president of the Lakers understands the role she has not only in the future of the franchise but the role the Buss family has with the organization.
Now sitting in the office that used to belong to her father, she sees growth with the Lakers and appreciates the path the franchise is headed in. Jeanie has a prominent role in the business aspect of the daily operations, helping create the global brand the Lakers are known for.
During the era of her father, Dr. Jerry Buss, some constants helped guide the Lakers to many championships. One key player in their success is no longer with the organization, currently aiding the Golden State Warriors in their recent run atop the NBA.
A vote of confidence came from former Lakers’ front office member Jerry West, who said that Buss will make the important decisions she has to:
“I think she understands that she has to make decisions that are important for the future of the franchise, for the growth of the franchise,” said Jerry West, who ran the Lakers front office alongside Kupchak until the summer of 2000 and is currently an executive board member with the Golden State Warriors. “She knows she has to do that. And I don’t think she’d be afraid to do that.”
She is given major credit for the $3 billion dollar deal with Spectrum SportsNet, along with the new practice facility the Lakers are set to move into next season. Although Jim and general manager Mitch Kupchak handle all basketball-related activities, Jeanie still is consulted about important decisions.
The farewell tour of Bryant put a hamper on the progress of the Lakers, as both Jeanie and Jim agreed that any decision can’t be made until the results of the 2016-17 season.
The Lakers prepare for a primetime showdown on Sunday, in a Christmas contest against the Los Angeles Clippers.