To blame Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak for the Lakers’ recent problems and inability to compete is ridiculous. Jeanie Buss is equally responsible and now will be accountable for the future and what happens under the direction of Magic Johnson.
How much time is Jeanie giving herself to turn things around?
Edward A. Sussman
Magic, I hope you live up to your name because that is what it’s going to take to get the Lakers to the mountaintop in the next couple of years. As Laker fans, we are hoping you are the next Jerry West and not the next Isiah Thomas, Michael Jordan or Phil Jackson.
Jerry Buss did the right thing in giving Jim the chance. Jeanie Buss did the right thing in making the change.
I went to USC with Jerry Buss, and even played poker with him a few times after chemistry class. I can’t remember if he was in my business class, but I often think of the words of my professor on the first day of school: “Never hire relatives to work for you.” For Magic Johnson to be successful with the Lakers, anybody with the last name of Buss needs to stay quiet. None of the Buss family has ever worked for anybody but their dad, and this lack of real world business experience has now caught up with the Lakers’ front office.
I for one applaud Jeanie Buss for making a bold move. Mitch Kupchak was a good guy and was trained by the best, but getting Jim Buss out of the picture is almost addition by subtraction. The bottom line is the Lakers needed a shake-up. Magic has the knowledge and the pedigree. Some have questioned his ability to call the shots because “great players don’t always translate to great front office people.” There is some validity to that, but running the front office is different than coaching. Look at the solid job Danny Ainge is doing in Boston. Magic will command the respect. He knows the game, he knows the players and he knows what it takes to win. I salute the new sheriff in town!
Throughout his tenure with the Lakers, Mitch Kupchak was always the grown-up in the room. The sea of calm in an ocean of turbulence that contributed in no small measure to the success of the franchise. He brought maturity, judgment and clear thinking to his role. His loyalty to the Dr. Buss and his family and the Laker Nation has been rock solid. And they are going to need a large moving van to haul away all the rings he earned. He deserves a banner alongside the greats.
Magic Johnson? Really? He had to be able to evaluate talent when he was a coach and failed miserably and now he’s managed to not only backstab his way back into the organization but take over as president of basketball operations. He has no experience as an exec, has no idea how to run a professional sports team, can’t evaluate talent, but Jeanie thinks he’s the best choice to run the team?
If this doesn’t work out, hopefully it leads to the Buss kids selling the team to a competent owner, or at least relinquishing all executive positions and bringing in people that actually know how to run one, ‘cause Magic ain’t no Jerry West and we all saw how Jeanie treated him.
Mike De Leon
Bill Plaschke’s logic [Feb. 24] escapes me one more time. The Lakers traded their best player, which means they won’t win very often because they can’t, so they don’t have to tank. Doesn’t that mean that Magic Johnson, who “would never be about that,” meaning tanking, tanked?
Not even someone named Magic can get rid of the Deng and Mozgov contracts, $34 million a year, guaranteed, through 2020. The Lakers have no cap space. Lakers fans can expect No George, No Butler, and No Body.
For over two decades I’ve made the choice to not drink in February, it being the shortest month and all. With the news of the departure of Jim Buss, my streak was almost broken in celebration. Make the Lakers great again.
Does Magic’s return mean we also won’t be able to watch the Lakers on TV?
I’m guessing a lot of your younger readers read the headline, “The Magic Buss” and asked themselves, “Who?”
Man, that LaVar Ball story [Feb. 21] is the greatest interview of a true father that I’ve ever read. What a great father — loving his son so much, giving him confidence — and the favor is returned by the son. There is no one on earth that will love you like a parent, and this is a great inspiration to all parents —your children are your treasure.
LaVar Ball is so proud, so irrepressible, that it transmits to the children. Who says confidence doesn’t breed confidence? Man, just look at those kids run! Of course, there was hard work involved, but his kids seem to love the game
Lakers, if you’re smart, you draft Lonzo out of college, and his brothers right out of high school!
According to Lonzo Ball’s father, Lonzo is better than Steph Curry. Ball is a good college basketball player and will no doubt be a good pro player; however, at this stage comparing him to Curry is like comparing Earl Scheib to Michelangelo.
Rancho Palos Verdes
Thanks to DirecTV, I couldn’t watch the 32-point UCLA-USC debacle. Fight on!
He loves L.A.
With all due respect to Mr. Kandel in last week’s letters, here’s why the people who know baseball are high on the Dodgers:
Let’s start with 12 more starts from Clayton Kershaw this season; Rich Hill (2.12 ERA) for an entire season; 16-game winner Maeda with a year of MLB under his belt; more quality candidates for the No. 4 and 5 rotation spots than any team in baseball; an upgrade at second base in Logan Forsythe, but with Chase Utley’s leadership still in the clubhouse; a likely step up the ladder from Corey Seager; a healthy Ethier; Joc Pederson raised his average 36 points with 40 fewer strikeouts in 2016. He takes another step forward in 2017 and he’s a legitimate star.
Need I go on?
Andrew Friedman sees Chase Utley’s behavior as a model for his peers. “I’ve never been around a guy that, at basically any moment and time that you walk by him — in the clubhouse, on the field — is doing something to try to help us win a game,” Friedman said a few days ago.
Yeah, A.J. Ellis was such a slacker. Would the Dodgers have been in the World Series if Ellis had not been traded for a six-week rental?
On the ball
Now that the Angels will stay in Anaheim, maybe Arte Moreno will finally install a modern scoreboard with high-definition video. Even minor league and college stadiums have them. Send the Disney rocks back to Frontierland and use that space to bring the stadium into the 21st century.
So to speed up the game there’s no throwing four wide ones for an intentional walk. Why not just expand the strike zone to be from the very top of the batting helmet to the soles of the cleats, and one foot inside and one foot outside on either side of the plate? That ought to speed things up.
If Rob Manfred really wants to speed up MLB games, outlaw velcro batting gloves. That will save more time than all the other proposed changes combined.
So I fight traffic just to get within sight of Dodger Stadium, then weave around the guys trying to herd me into a corner parking lot, then trudge to get into the line to get into the stadium, then, holding an armful of Dodger Dogs and nachos and peanuts and a drink or two, try to go down those vertical steps, try to find my seat, then aisle-plow as I force myself past those that refuse to stand. After that, they want me to rush through the game? Sorry, but at that point I want to make my stay as long as possible, hoping those clowns around me get antsy and depart early so that I can use the empty seats to finally get rid of the jacket that’s been on my lap. Then as the game drags on and more “fans” depart, all the real fans can finally enjoy that 12th-inning intentional walk … that takes five minutes because Pedro Baez is on the mound.
Not what doctor ordered
Dear Doc Rivers,
Here’s a belated Valentine thank you for your continuing effort to take me off the hook as Southern California’s most overrated coach/manager ever.
Fondly, Mike Scioscia
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