Jim Buss’ self-imposed timeline has been hanging over his head and the Los Angeles Lakers organization ever since he made the bold statement in 2014. Buss said he’d step down as vice president of basketball operations if the team weren’t in title contention by the end of the 2016-17 NBA season.
At 19-39, the Lakers are nowhere near contention. In fact, the team may be another three years away from reaching that distinction as the new advisor to team president Jeanie Buss, Magic Johnson, suggested last week.
As if the timeline coming to an end wasn’t bad enough for Buss, it appears that he may have made a much bolder prediction initially, according to Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report:
When Jeanie asked Jim what they could do to hold him accountable, what Jim actually said first was:
“I only need one year.”
The others, knowing their brother so well, chuckled a bit and gave him a chance to amend his statement. He then made it “three years.”
Buss seemed to be a bit overconfident in his ability to turn things around for the Lakers back in 2014. If this is indeed true, it won’t bode well for the 57-year-old as he and general manager Mitch Kupchak are set to meet with Johnson on Monday to talk about the immediate future of the team and a potential shakeup in the team’s front office.
At this point, the Lakers’ timeline for success is anyone’s guess. It could be three to five years as Johnson assessed last week or it may be much longer or possibly shorter.
As currently constructed, the Lakers have one of the most talented young teams in the league. Hiring Luke Walton to be Byron Scott’s successor as head coach appears to be the right move, but contending with this group may take some time and whether Buss and Kupchak remain a major part of the decision-making process in the front office remains to be seen.