Blog Entry

Buss: Kobe should have been consulted on coach

Posted on: May 28, 2011 11:48 pm
Edited on: July 17, 2011 6:07 pm
 
Lakers VP Jim Buss admits that Kobe Bryant should have been consulted on the team's coaching search. Posted by Ben Golliver. kobe-bryant

It's not even June, and the Los Angeles Lakers are already making a mess out of their summer.

This week, the team hired Mike Brown to coach the team. It was a somewhat controversial hire but not an altogether terrible one. The messy part wasn't the result; it was the process and the aftermath. 

During the search process, Lakers owner Jerry Buss specifically said that no Lakers players would be consulted regarding the search. The Los Angeles Times quoted him to that effect.
"We really don't consult the players on these matters," Buss said. "Obviously, we have to select somebody who has a reputation that players would be happy with. But to ask a direct player to select a particular coach, that's general manager territory."
OK, fine, if that's your team policy, whatever. It's a strange policy to have when Kobe Bryant, one of the best and certainly the most headstrong player in the NBA is the face of your franchise, but if that's your policy, by all means go with it.

Of course, once Brown's hiring was announced, Bryant offered a "no comment" and was said to be "surprised" by the hire. Was Bryant a bit peeved by this slight? Of course. Anyone in his position would be.

The decision to select Brown as the Lakers next coach has been widely attributed to Jim Buss, Lakers VP and son of the owner. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times on Saturday, Jim Buss does a 180 degree flip less than one week after the hiring was announced, admitting that Bryant should have been consulted during the process.
"Looking back on it, we should have contacted Kobe," Buss says. "Kobe said it was management's job to pick a coach. He just said, 'Defense first.' That's what we were doing, but we should have reached out to him."
Yeah, of course the Lakers should have reached out to Bryant. The only reason not to do so was is if the Lakers firmly and truly believed in their "no players consulted" stance. If they did, there should not be any backtracking. If it's so important that it's black and white, there should be no gray area hedging after the fact. 

Just put yourself in Bryant's shoes. You've busted your butt for more than a decade. You've brought home five rings. You're entering the final chapter of your career. You've earned every last shred of respect a player can earn in the NBA. After all of that, you're then informed that you will be left out of the process. Once the process is completed, you're told that you should have been consulted. But the hiring has been completed, of course, and there's no going back. You're stuck with the guy that you weren't asked about, whether you like it or not.

If you're Bryant, how else do you read this situation except for butt-covering lip service? If Lakers management truly wanted to show respect, they could have reached out. If they truly didn't care, they have no reason to apologize or backtrack. If they don't know what they are doing or simply can't keep their story straight ... well, then they do what they just did. 

By admitting this mistake so quickly and readily, Jim Buss totally undercuts this management team's credibility and makes a bad situation even more complicated. No one wins here: Bryant feels disrespected, Brown walks into an unnecessarily tense scene without first having Bryant's support, Lakers management looks like it's on different pages, and Jim Buss looks either weak, inconsistent or indecisive. 

Like I said, what a mess.

Comments

Since: May 25, 2009
Posted on: May 29, 2011 8:46 pm
 

Buss: Kobe should have been consulted on coach

All this talk about the good old days . . . come on.  I detest Kobe Bryant and the Lakers, but he's a grown man, not a kid, and he's making X times the amount of money the Lakers will pay Brown.  Of course you bring him in. Analogy:  if an athletic director job opens up at Duke, Coach K. is likely to have some input, even though the A.D. is technically his boss. 



Since: May 29, 2011
Posted on: May 29, 2011 8:44 pm
 

Buss: Kobe should have been consulted on coach

Granted Kobe is a superstar. However, let's get a grip, it's very doubtful that Harmon Killebrew, Gordie Howe, Joe Montana or Larry Bird ever were asked for their input regarding a coaching change. 



Since: Oct 10, 2006
Posted on: May 29, 2011 8:31 pm
 

Buss: Kobe should have been consulted on coach

The owner has to ask a player about hiring that player's boss... really? And this is why the NBA is losing ground... and this is why I don't care much at all if it goes away for a year (this and the fact that as a Rockets fan - they will suck for a while anyway).


I wonder if the rockets consulted with Yao on their recent hire?  Maybe they called Olojuwan and asked him about hiring Kevin?



Since: Oct 10, 2006
Posted on: May 29, 2011 8:24 pm
 

Buss: Kobe should have been consulted on coach

  Just put yourself in Bryant's shoes. You've busted your butt for more than a decade. You've brought home five rings. You're entering the final chapter of your career. You've earned every last shred of respect a player can earn in the NBA. After all of that, you're still a player.  You may be one of the greatest to play the game, but you're still a player.

  This is not astrophysics, it's simple math.  He has a number on the roster.  This is the difference between this generation in sports, and many generations ago.  Many years ago, players knew their role, and management knew there's.  Unfortunately, the money has given players an ego that seems to make them think that if they are very talented, they deserve a say in who runs things.  Play ball, and let management do their job.  On Buss' end, he has no nads.  Quit kissing "it" and just say what you mean.  Kobe is a great player, extremely great, but the problem is he's so great that the organization needs to tip toe around him on every decision.  That is NOT how you run a business.  This has nothing to do with confidence in your players.  If Kobe isn't sure about the management by now, then he has the problem.

And if the lakers can't win if Kobe isn't happy, what happened with them and Dallas?  What was Kobe unhappy about in that series?  For the most part, I've thought the Lakers management made some dumb decisions in the past.  for the most part, they proved me wrong. So, I will leave my opinion on this hire out.  We will just have to see what will happen in L.A.  This may one day be forgotten, and many words may be eaten.





Since: May 29, 2011
Posted on: May 29, 2011 7:54 pm
 

Buss: Kobe should have been consulted on coach

I don't get how no one understands the concept of consulting Kobe on the head coaching vacancy. It's the exact reason that no one on these message boards is involved in the business of sports. Kobe is one of the best players to ever play the game. Realisticly he has a few more good seasons left in him. Therefore, the championship window for LA is closing. From a business and common sense standpoint, the Lakers should have consulted Kobe on the choice. I don't care if he is an employee of Buss. The fact is, if Kobe is the unhappy, THE LAKERS DON'T WIN!



Since: Jul 13, 2009
Posted on: May 29, 2011 7:16 pm
 

Buss: Kobe should have been consulted on coach

Um, Kobe, you are a PLAYER.  COACHES and GENERAL MANAGERS select PLAYERS, not the other way around.  I don't care who you are, no player should have any say in who is hired to coach.  Their job is to play for whoever the organization brings in--nothing more and nothing less.  Plain and simple.



Since: May 29, 2011
Posted on: May 29, 2011 7:07 pm
 

Buss: Kobe should have been consulted on coach

Buss is ignorant. To Buss - why do you think regular company's employees and managers, inlcuding your level, interview candidates applying for jobs?  TO GET FEEDBACK/INPUT.  The Lakers will no longer win another championship in about 3 or 4 years unless Buss leaves.  He has screwed up the Lakers next season for sure!  Now he backpeddles. WOW 




Since: Nov 26, 2006
Posted on: May 29, 2011 6:18 pm
 

Buss: Kobe should have been consulted on coach

I can't believe this is even an issue. Since when does a player have any say in who a team hires as a coach. I'm sure that Irsay ask Peyton if it wa ok to hire Jim Caldwell. I guess Basketball fans are more Player oriented than Football fans are. You say the Player shoul be contacted about the Hiring of a Coach, but the Football fans are degrading the Players because they want to know how come they have to give money back to the Owners. I am proud of the Baskedball fans for sticking by their players though, after all they are the one's putting BUTTS in the Seats, not the owners, I wish some football fans realized that.





Since: Jan 31, 2011
Posted on: May 29, 2011 6:08 pm
 

Buss: Kobe should have been consulted on coach

so the packers should of consulted brent. when they hired mcarthy too huh? same concept. its not up to the player who the team hires. its the owners choice



Since: Apr 25, 2007
Posted on: May 29, 2011 6:07 pm
 

Buss: Kobe should have been consulted on coach

The owner has to ask a player about hiring that player's boss... really? And this is why the NBA is losing ground... and this is why I don't care much at all if it goes away for a year (this and the fact that as a Rockets fan - they will suck for a while anyway).


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com