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.


Since: May 22, 2008
Posted on: May 29, 2011 3:00 pm

Buss: Kobe should have been consulted on coach

Really ok who do the fans come to see knobby kneed Buss the owner or Kobe look back a couple championships agp Kobe tells management get some help or Im gone what 2 championships later,we have this Buss will make amends with Kobe they will get the help they need for a couple more rings Kobe retires Buss could've made the transition smoother fro the team as a whole by talking to Kobe and maybe Fish  and Gasol but in the end the owners do own the team but without players you dont own them long Kobe has earned the respect to be asked about the coach whether you or other fans like it or not on a job good bosses consult with employees about moves and then weight the options

Since: Sep 1, 2006
Posted on: May 29, 2011 3:00 pm

Buss: Kobe should have been consulted on coach

Kobe should have been consulted???  Are you kidding me??  I'm not consulted about who should be hired as VP of my division . . . Kobe . . . contrary to what some think . . . is an employee . . . period!  If Kobe wants to have a say in who gets hired let him buy his own team.

Since: Dec 28, 2010
Posted on: May 29, 2011 2:58 pm

Buss: Kobe should have been consulted on coach

kobe is on the downswing....hire whoever you want dr buss....hire whoever you want.

Since: May 5, 2011
Posted on: May 29, 2011 2:34 pm

Buss: Kobe should have been consulted on coach

Kobe is on the decline and will not be the #1 player leading this team to its next championship.  He will slide back to a #2 if the Lakers are going to win another championship on Kobe's watch.  They need a coach that can handle this gracefully; we'll see if he's the guy or this thing is going to blow up.  In the meantime, who cares about the Lakers.  They got their backside handed to them so let's focus on the two teams still playing. 

Since: Sep 7, 2008
Posted on: May 29, 2011 2:27 pm

Buss: Kobe should have been consulted on coach

Man some of you either need a vacation, a new hobby, job shit I dunno but chill out!  This is all here say, no where along the lines has Kobe came out and said I should have been consulted.  No one and I mean no one knows what goes on behind closed doors with any team, any sport, between coaches and players, front office, agents none of us know.  I guess the fact that Kobe and Brown texted that means certain drama. 

Since: Apr 27, 2009
Posted on: May 29, 2011 2:23 pm

Buss: Kobe should have been consulted on coach

I couldn't dissagree with the commentary in this article more. 

When "Ben Golliver" comments on the credibility of the Laker management team as well as the respect and stature of Kobe Bryant

the commentary comes accross as more silly than anything else.

It's all perspective of course but lets face it. The Lakers have the most succsessfull management team around in any sport. They have made hard decisions that others in the press questioned.  Good example is the dumping of Shaq when he became a huge problem and was a player with no respect what so ever for management believing that himself "The Big Me" was more important than the franchise. 

Kobe Bryant is a great player and talent. Bryant has also has some "me 1st" which I as a very enthusiastic fan can live with even though I've been frustrated with that seeing it play out on the court.  That being said, I it would have been better to include Kobe for his feedback prior to making the decision but hardly the end of the world.  Kobe is a competitor and in the end respects talent, hard work, and a fellow student of the game.

Do I believe Jim Buss and the Lakers could have handled it better? Yes
Do I believe Jim Buss "undercut" the management teams credibility? Nope     &

What I do believe is that in the end it works itself out and Kobe Bryant will end up playing hard and giving it his all to win another championship with the Lakers and that the Laker management team is simply reminded that the press has little to write about other than
second guessing decisions that are made. 

IMO the press certainly doesn't need to be a cheerleader at all for any franchise but making a mountain out of a molehill for the most dominant franchise in NBA history and the best ownership of any franchise in professional sports is just silly.

Since: Sep 18, 2006
Posted on: May 29, 2011 2:16 pm

Buss: Kobe should have been consulted on coach

Well JMA0325, if you were the top employee and unquestioned leader of the workforce at your place of employment you wouldn't be fired.... Since you feel the way you do, my guess is that you aren't....
The Lakers aren't going to ask the 12th man on the bench but they should have gotten Kobe involved because he is the leader of the Lakers... I'm not saying he gets the final vote, but he should have been involved in the process... It has nothing to do with ego, and all to do with common sense... Jim Buss is simply stating the obvious..

Since: Oct 24, 2008
Posted on: May 29, 2011 2:06 pm

Buss: Kobe should have been consulted on coach

So we're going to ask the employees if they like our choice of candidates for program manager. Sounds good...but shouldn't we, as owners, hire the best qualified person based on our criteria? Nah, lets have the employees do a quick round of eenie, meenie, manie, mo and just pick the Kobe...I mean manager, by the toe. Yeah, that's the ticket, let the patients run the insane asylum.

Since: Nov 10, 2010
Posted on: May 29, 2011 2:02 pm

Buss: Kobe should have been consulted on coach

If Kobe doesn't like the choice of the owner for coach, or the fact that he wasn't consulted then he should go and buy his own team and run it the way he likes. It's disgusting to see these players with over inflated opinions of themselves worrying about "respect". Kobe's the PLAYER Buss is the OWNER. In the real world, if you walked into your bosses office and told him how you wanted the company ran, you'd just be FIRED!

Since: Aug 4, 2008
Posted on: May 29, 2011 1:58 pm

Buss: Kobe should have been consulted on coach

The Lakers are not required to consult any player as to whom they might hire as a head coach.

It might have been nice if they had gave Kobe a courtesy call requesting is input or informing him of management decision to hire Mike Brown.

Both coach and player ultimately work for the same person so why should the have the ability to determine the coach that is hired. It would seem to me that if this player had t his power, what would keep him from using that as leverage over the coach?

I think at times the players might have too much  power as to who the coaches are and how to run various teams. I don’t think one player is bigger than the game.

Before Kobe there was George Miken, Magic, Worthy, Kareem, West, Wilt, and Elgin Baylor. After Kobe there will be other famous and noted Lakers  

A courtesy call, but no input as to the hiring.



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