Since the conclusion of the 2018-19 NBA season, the Los Angeles Lakers offseason has been something of a tumultuous one so far.
Kicked off by the sudden resignation of former president of basketball operations Magic Johnson, more questions came about during their head coaching search.
Though the Lakers eventually landed on head coach Frank Vogel, failed negotiations with former Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue revealed reports about a number of different people being in the ear of owner Jeanie Buss. In addition to general manager Rob Pelinka, names such as senior basketball advisor Kurt Rambis and even former head coach Phil Jackson were mentioned as possible influencers of Buss.
Furthermore, Johnson spoke about the Lakers having too many people within the front office having opinions beyond their defined roles and there had been ongoing questions about whether or not the Lakers would replace Johnson. Pelinka took some time to address the front office, starting with Johnson’s former position.
“Jeanie’s vision for the front office… a couple of years ago, she created a position that didn’t exist prior to Earvin coming on board. She is going to eliminate that position because it was created entirely for Magic,” Pelinka explained at Vogel’s introductory press conference. “No one can ever replace what he does. That will be that.”
Pelinka would then go into the current layout of decision-making within the Lakers.
“Two — in terms of our decision-processes here — it’s very clear and very simple. Now when it comes to a basketball decision, I collaborate with the staff and then I make a recommendation to Jeanie and she blesses that or not,” Pelinka shared.
“Kurt Rambis was hired a year ago as an advisor to the front office and coaching staff and remains in that position. He was a valuable resource throughout the process with his championship experiences of being on many staffs and winning for the Lakers and other organizations. He was a really valuable resource of getting to the place of choosing Frank to be our next head coach.”
The least known of all the names being mentioned within Buss’ inner circle was Linda Rambis. As Rambis is the special projects executive director, Pelinka was extremely complimentary of her and what she brings to the Lakers.
“Linda Rambis is an incredibly trusted colleague and partner for all employees of the Lakers,” Pelinka noted. “She’s been here for decades, she has wisdom in how this business works, how this town operates, the relationship capital and experience and knowledge base she brings to the table is incredibly helpful to all of us.”
The Lakers organization has come under a lot of scrutiny, but the most important thing is for them to all be on the same page. With an important summer ahead, the Lakers must be locked in if they plan on moving the franchise back to championship contention.