Jim Buss is Killing the Lakers Name

6/22/12 in NBA   |   AJ_88   |   166 respect

The Los Angeles Lakers have always prided themselves on their commitment to excellence. The ability to put the best product on the court has always been their first order of business.  But that was when Jerry Buss was running the day to day operations. Now that his son, Jim, has been placed into a position of power, long-time Lakers fans are worried their beloved team will no longer be the championship pedigree contender they have become accustomed to over the last 12 years (five championships). 

May 21, 2012; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant reacts to being defeated by the Oklahoma City Thunder in game five of the Western Conference semifinals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs at Chesapeake Energy Arena. The Thunder defeated the Lakers 106-90.  Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-US PRESSWIREHaving been eliminated from postseason play in the second round over the last two seasons, the Lakers have gone home early scratching their heads, looking for answers.  They have the longest front line in basketball with Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol. They have the most feared scorer in the league today in Kobe Bryant, yet they were unable to contend against the likes of a very young Oklahoma City Thunder team. They have a very solid coach in Mike Brown who had to learn on the fly with a team he had never worked with prior to the condensed regular season. So what's wrong with them? Will they get better?

Jim Buss is set on keeping the team he has intact, at least that is what he says publicly. If that is the case, this team has already peaked. They will not get out of the second round of the playoffs as currently constructed. Kobe is not the Kobe that we used to know. The two big men do not work well off each other because of the increased role in the offense for Bynum. Gasol has been taken aback by the limited touches he receives in the offense and it causes discord on the court. 

If the Lakers stand pat, and do not attempt to trade a big man for a unique and talented point guard and a more influential small forward, they will struggle once again. Kobe will not win a championship with the team he currently has around him. And with the new collective bargaining agreement somewhat crippling the Lakers, Jim Buss prefers to stay at or below the salary cap rather than pay an enormous luxury tax and have the chance to compete for a title. The Western Conference is too talented for the Lakers to even earn a Finals berth over the next few years, let alone win the title. 
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