Fantastic work by Ken Berger of CBS Sports chronicling just how much of a dumpster fire the Lakers’ front office has become:
So here it is: The Lakers’ front office is an uncommunicative, rudderless fiasco, and the unrest and paranoia that have been festering for years threaten to derail the team’s plans to ride Bryant to his sixth NBA title while they still can. And much of it can be traced to the growing influence of executive vice president Jim Buss, the owner’s bon vivant son, who has helped transform a great franchise into a steaming pool of nepotism and nincompoops.
In the months leading up to the lockout, the Lakers got rid of assistant general manager Ronnie Lester and most of his scouts. Rudy Garciduenas, the equipment manager for nearly 30 years, was let go. Alex McKechie, a renowned sports science expert, was told to pack up and was quickly scooped up by the Raptors. International scout Adam Fillippi wound up with the Bobcats.
Joey Buss, another son of the owner who runs the team’s D-League franchise, has moved into Jackson’s old office. Jesse Buss, 23, who was arrested for alcohol intoxication in Lexington, Ky., on a “scouting” trip in December, has moved into Lester’s former office.
Berger goes on and on, ripping the Lakers apart in tremendous fashion. Here’s what scares me: 1) As clueless as this group seems to be, they nearly pulled off a trade getting Chris Paul, 2) As noted in Ballin‘, they’re still 19-13, and one game out of first place in the Pacific. Gosh, I sure hope these buffoons don’t magically pry Dwight Howard out of Orlando. [CBS Sports]