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Blog Entry

Kobe, Magic say it's time for Buss to meet Bryant

Posted on: February 22, 2012 10:38 pm
Edited on: February 23, 2012 5:58 am
 
Kobe Bryant says he and Jim Buss should meet; Magic Johnson agrees (Getty Images)
By Matt Moore 

Just days after Kobe Bryant challenged the Lakers' front office to make a desision regarding Pau Gasol and Ken Berger of CBSports.com filed a scathing and revealing report on the inner dysfunction of the team's front office, Bryant told reporters that he and Jim Buss should meet for a conversation. And he wasn't the only Laker great to suggest the idea.

On a conference call Wednesday, Magic Johnson told reporters that Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak is "not running the team" anymore and that Jim Buss is making all the decisions. Johnson, who is as close to the Lakers organization as anyone, considering he has a statue outside their building, said that the answer was for Bryant and Buss to sit down and have a conversation. From the L.A. Daily News:
"(Bryant) just wants to be informed as a team leader and a future Hall of Famer and a guy who has brought five chapmionships to the Lakers," Johnson said. "He wants more communication, probably like he did when Phil Jackson was here and he worked well with Mitch. I don't think Kobe feels he has that type of relationship with Jim.

"What probably has to happen is they need to sit Kobe down and sit Jim down. Dr. Buss was the master at taking you to lunch or taking you to dinner and going over what he was thinking and what he wanted to do with the team.

"Jerry West was good at that as well. Kobe, Mitch and Jim just have to get on the same page and things will be OK."
via Magic: Bryant, Jim Buss need to have face-to-face chat - LA Daily News.

After the Lakers shootaround, Bryant told reporters when asked if it was time for he and the younger Buss to sit down and have a conversation, "Um, perhaps." That was all, but that one word speaks volumes. If it was no, he could have said "I don't know" or "I'm just a player" or even "I'd be open to it." But that's not it. It's Bryant trying to push for change in the organization, to right the ship. This team isn't over, it's not done, it's not through trying to win championships and still features three great players and one or two good players. Bryant's not willing to sit by and let this situation get out of control.

Meanwhile, Magic Johnson is sticking up for the franchise player, going with the star trying to make the most of the end of his career instead of the son of his long-time friend and employer Jerry Buss. (Read the excellent "When the Game Was Ours" by Jakcie McMullen for more on Magic and Buss' friendship.) It's incredible that not only is Bryant openly questioning management, but that the greatest player in franchise history has openly said the GM is not in charge and that the managing owner needs to communicate better with his team. This kind of thing simply doesn't happen. And yet here we are.

The Lakers held a players-oly meeting this week to try and focus past all the distractions and it worked in a blowout win over Portland. As of this writing, they lead the Mavericks by 12 in the second quarter Wednesday night. So the players are doing their part to work past the issues. Will the front office?

Strange days for the most successful franchise in the NBA.
Comments

Since: Dec 23, 2006
Posted on: February 23, 2012 1:11 pm
 

Kobe, Magic say it's time for Buss to meet Bryant

dlopez711, I don't know if you are from LA or if you are too young to have been paying attention, but Jackson and Jerry Buss feuded every year, even when Kobe was leading the team to championships.  Jackson was paid way, way more than any other coach in the NBA and Jerry Buss was tired of his ego.  Jeannie Buss smoothed things over most years, but Phil Jackson was never a favorite of Jerry Buss, and now it sounds like Jim Buss felt the same way.  It's no secret that Jackson chose Shaq over Kobe...read his book.  But Shaq was openly disrespectful to Jerry Buss, wanted too much money ($30 million a season), didn't work hard, and Jerry Buss made the right decision.


dlopez711
Since: Feb 11, 2012
Posted on: February 23, 2012 1:11 pm
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Since: Dec 27, 2010
Posted on: February 23, 2012 1:09 pm
 

Kobe, Magic say it's time for Buss to meet Bryant

Kobe isn't just "an employee". He is the "Key Employee" of the business which is the Lakers. Even in the real world a key employee will get more leeway then the rank and file. The Lakers have been a model franchise for decades having missed the playoffs twice in 28 years. Dr. Buss allowed his key employees ie: Jerry West then Mitch Kupchak the latitude and freedom to do their jobs knowing that they have the expertise to put together championship teams (10 and counting). Unfortunately it is now the inmates running the asylum and I don't mean the players. The inmates are his kids who have not a clue. 

Kobe wants another ring. Baby Buss wants to be in charge. These two goals are not mutually exclusive. Bummer for us longtime Laker fans 



Since: Feb 2, 2011
Posted on: February 23, 2012 1:08 pm
 

Kobe, Magic say it's time for Buss to meet Bryant

Coming from a Boston fan.....


P.S. how are the big three doing? Don't look now but Boston has a losing record. Taking bets they end up in the lottery....loving it!!!!  



Since: Dec 23, 2006
Posted on: February 23, 2012 1:02 pm
 

Kobe, Magic say it's time for Buss to meet Bryant

Shaq has admitted he didn't take care of himself like he should have.  How can you even argue that point when Shaq admits it?  

Just because you are the leading scorer on your team, doesn't make you the leader.  Shaq was an immature clown.  He was never the leader. Ask Magic Johnson if Kareem was the leader of the Lakers of the 80's or if Bill Russell was the leader of the Celtics of the 60's when he wasn't even among the top 2 scorers on his own team in most years.   Get a clue!




dlopez711
Since: Feb 11, 2012
Posted on: February 23, 2012 12:56 pm
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Since: Dec 4, 2010
Posted on: February 23, 2012 12:53 pm
 

Kobe, Magic say it's time for Buss to meet Bryant

Wow! Still yet another diva 'player' (as in employee) wanting to meet with his owner. First Ben, now Kobe.  Could this be the start of a trend? Do the inmates think think run the asylum?   I am no genius, but the last time I looked....the NFL and NBA drafts are to acquire PLAYERS not OWNERS.  I'm sure the network media- talking heads/writers will side w/ (union member) employees......the 'new logic' being great players (ie Kobe and Ben) have more Championship Rings...and that fact gives them the right to criticize make certain demands.  Or at least they think it does. Stay tuned. 


dlopez711
Since: Feb 11, 2012
Posted on: February 23, 2012 12:48 pm
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Since: Dec 23, 2006
Posted on: February 23, 2012 12:34 pm
 

Kobe, Magic say it's time for Buss to meet Bryant

But Kobe has been a lttle bit of a selfish person for along time.He forced Shaq out of L.A.
dlopez711, you clearly don't know what you are talking about.  No one forced Shaq out of L.A.  Shaq got himself kicked out of L.A. with his bad attitude and very, very poor work ethic.  

During training camp in Hawaii in 2003 Shaq screamed and yelled at Jerry Buss (who was in the stands watching)..."you will pay me!!!"  You don't disrespect the owner of your team, especially someone who is as well respected as Jerry Buss.

In 2002 Shaq needed surgery in the offseason, but instead waited until right before training camp started.  He was asked why he waited so long.  His response..."I got hurt on their time, I'm going to recover on their time".  He missed the first 15 games of the season recovering from his Sept surgery.  Not quite the team player and leader you want for your team.

Additionally, he was always out of shape and didn't dedicate the time needed to keep his body in shape.  Jerry Buss made the right decision.

You're right, no one wins a championship alone...including MJ, Magic or Kobe.  But which would be a bigger accomplishment, winning back-to-back championships with Gasol---or winning an NBA championship with D-Wade.  Clearly D-Wade is the better player.  LeBron had to join one of the best players in the NBA to win a title (which they haven't done yet) instead of trying to lead "his" team to a championship.  LeBron is a great player, but not a great leader.



Since: Jun 3, 2007
Posted on: February 23, 2012 12:19 pm
 

Kobe, Magic say it's time for Buss to meet Bryant

nice post dlopez..... To add to it,
kobe needed Shaq just as DWade needed Shaq. Bird needed Dennis Johnson from the Sonics & Robert Parrish from Golden State giving their 1st round pick, Jabbar needed Magic, Jordan needed Pippen and then Rodman, etc... I could go on and on.....


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