For much of our adult lives, the
But in the midst of all the noise, have we not missed some of the more salient points? Are we so engrossed in our need for instant gratification that we cannot look beyond the most recent tweet? Even as we dissect everything about the Lakers as if they were biology-class frogs, aren't we getting off track a bit?
There is no intention here of being an apologist. The Lakers are lousy. There is no hiding that. TV now runs graphics listing the handful of teams with the worst records in the
But in the rush to place blame and demand immediate fixes, some logic and reason seem gone.
Talking point: The Lakers are in deep trouble because
Discussion: If we revered Jerry Buss, if we watched for all those years in wonderment as he made one smart move after another, why can't we accept that he knew what he was doing with his plan for the future?
One of the several Lakers sources interviewed for this column, all wishing anonymity, said, "If Jerry didn't think his kids could do this, he wouldn't have given it to them."
Talking point: Jim Buss has blown it twice with coaching hires, first
Fact: Jerry Buss was thrilled with the hire of Brown. And when Jim Buss takes the rap for D'Antoni, a good coach who has persevered with his stars in rehab, it isn't fair because he didn't make the call. Jerry Buss did. He was ill, but he was still in charge. Jerry Buss loved the run-and-gun style that D'Antoni created with the
Talking point: The Lakers blew it when they didn't get
Discussion: They may have blown it, but it was never in the plan. The family was to take over. Jim and Jeanie were to be the leaders, but son Joey is also part of it and runs the Lakers'
Phil wasn't, and still isn't, family. Blood runs thick. Nor did he want to coach again, as demonstrated by the job he just took with the Knicks.
Jim Buss is not
Talking point: Jim Buss likes a cocktail or two, enjoys placing a wager and doesn't have the corporate persona of an NBA executive.
Fact: His father, the revered one, also liked the first two things, and didn't have the last thing, either.
Talking point: Jim Buss is making decisions in a vacuum.
Fact: When Buss wants to do something and General Manager
Talking point: The future couldn't look more bleak and the Lakers have never been at a lower ebb.
Fact: It's pretty low, but the air has gone out of the balloon before. From the 1990-91 season, when the first of
Talking point: It looked like desperation, almost a plea to season ticket-holders, when Jeanie Buss went on radio and TV last week to put some Lakers spin on the controversy.
Fact: She did it only because the team's broadcast partners, Time Warner Cable SportsNet and 710
Talking point: The $48.5-million contract given to
Fact: It may be stupid, but again, that's a page from the Jerry Buss basketball handbook. Pay them lots. Be loyal to them. Remember
Talking point: How is it conceivable that the NBA is allowing Jackson to run the Knicks and Jeanie Buss to have a large role in running the Lakers even though they are engaged to be married?
Discussion: It isn't conceivable. It is beyond comprehension. It gives new meaning to the term "conflict of interest."
Will the Carmelo-for-Kobe deal be finalized by email or over dessert?
Get a big mirror, NBA, and look into it.