It looks like I am a bit of a trend setter. After my post on Monday, a slew of writers have followed suit in writing scathing articles about Buss and Co. Additionally, both Kobe and Magic got on the criticism band wagon.
I am not going to focus on what the writers have been saying since they have basically been rehashing what I said, so instead I am going to focus on Kobe and Magic. I am not focusing on them because they are saying anything extremely different, but because their voices are actually heard.
I am going to start with Magic. If you recall, I voiced my disappointment in his decision to censor himself. Now I am going to rejoice because not only is he criticizing, but he is essentially quoting me:
In case you all did not read my post on Monday, that is exactly what I said (minus the love part for the Buss kids). I am happy that Magic decided to speak out, not because I think it is healthy to kick a team when it is down, but because the Buss kids have shown their reluctance to listen to reason, and there are certain people out there that are hard to ignore. Magic is one of them.
Now, I am going to talk about Kobe Bryant and his extremely candid remarks. He talked about his disappointment in letting Phil get away (again you can look at my previous post), his lack of faith in management, and D’Antoni’s lack of direction. I agree with almost everything he said (clearly). Jim and Jeannie need to get it together and decide where to take the team. Bill Plaschke wrote a very similar article to mine and published it the next day, however he took it a step further (http://touch.latimes.com/#section/-1/article/p2p-79592695/). He suggested that the Buss kids sell the team because they simply cannot work together and live up to their father’s legacy. This is a possibility that they should consider. If they are going to be unwilling to bring in smarter people to help them make decisions (a la Phil Jackson), then the team will eventually plummet and Lakers fans will turn to the Clippers. I gagged writing that last sentence.
I cannot stress how much it hurts that Phil is about to sign with the Knicks. My family is from New York, so now I am going to have to endure the taunting from them for managing to do what the Lakers couldn’t. Not only has Jim Buss hurt me by hurting the Lakers, but now he has hit me on a personal level.
It is pretty clear how I feel about Jim and Jeannie, and now it is extremely clear how Kobe feels. I appreciate him stepping up and speaking out against them, even if it goes against my philosophy of keeping things in house. Based on Kobe’s remarks, it sounds like he has spoken with management at length about how he feels, but they aren’t listening to him. The fact that they traded Steve Blake without giving Kobe a heads up is a low blow.
Obviously I love and support the Black Mamba, but I have one point that I need to bring up and dissect. He was adamant that he did not want to go through the rebuilding process. He said that he had no patience and wanted to compete next year.
I only partially agree with Kobe. I stressed in my last post that we need to hold out and spend our money wisely in 2015, however we still need to be a “good” team in the 2014-2015 season. In order to entice the big names, we need to show them that we are not a rebuilding project, but only a couple of pieces away from a championship. Therefore, we need to use our pick wisely, and sign some solid people to one year deals so that we are a competitive team. We need to make it to the playoffs next year. This year I stressed against being a mediocre 8th seed, now we need to reach for that goal. We are playing different games in the next two summers. This summer is about the draft and next summer is about free agents.
Kobe loves Carmelo Anthony and I am sure would love for him to come to the Lakers, however you all know my strong opinion about that move. Besides, that might be a moot point now that the Knicks are getting Phil Jackson. That was a great move to keep Carmelo, and another example of a reason why the Lakers failed.
I am confident that Kobe will not be thrilled this upcoming season, but he might get one wish. Lakers insiders have been reporting that management has been telling Kobe and Pau that Mike will be fired over the summer. Since it has been reported that Kobe has “no interest” in playing for him next season, he can at least take some solace in that fact. Here’s to the Lakers paying 3 coaches next season because Jim Buss has proven his failure to pick a good one or sign a willing great one.
Since all reports indicate the Phil will sign with the Knicks, I will be posting about future coaching possibilities. Stay tuned.