As how it typically works, when I started comparing players from my favorite team in the world to greatest series of novels in the history of literature (and I won’t hear differently no matter the case you make for any other series), the comps grew from a mere sentence or two, to hundreds and hundreds of words.
So, I stretched this to a two-part series. For part one, click here.
Poor professor Snape’s biggest issue for the overwhelming majority of the series was poor public relations. I come from a PR background, and my mentor in the field had a pretty straightforward message: Tell the damn truth. Any ambiguity or falsification will come back to bite you square in the rear end. Had we known for the entire series what all Snape had done to keep the love of his life’s (Lily Potter) memory alive through the child she sacrificed herself to save, we’d think a little differently about the Half Blood Prince. Guess I should’ve attached a spoiler alert there (Editors Note: Probably).
Jim Buss suffers a similar issue. We have no idea what his actual role in the organization might be. He might prefer it that way for his own reasons (just like Snape had good reason to keep secret his actual role as a member of the Order of the Phoenix), but it doesn’t help at all when people are judging either Buss’ or Snape’s actions.
Harry winds up naming one of his children after Snape (I hated this, by the way. Sirius was more deserving but whatever) because of the courage the late professor showed in playing secret agent for the good guys. If Buss is able to steer this franchise back to the promised land just like Snape was able to steer Harry to the truth about You Know Who despite such a negative public image, he’ll deserve a similar amount of credit.
Though I never foresee myself naming any of my future kids after Jim.
I’m gonna go ahead and steer myself out of most assuredly a weird situation and play this one the easy way. Technically, Granger would have to be Julius Randle, to make up the last third of the trio who will save the Lakers’ world as D’Angelo Russell is already Harry and Jordan Clarkson is Ron Weasley. But, as I don’t want to get caught up in comparing a man to a woman, I’m gonna say Jeanie Buss fits the comp in her own way.
Hermione, the muggle-born genius who worked herself into one of the most important characters in the series, comes to the rescue via booksmarts and bravery on several occasions. Buss followed in her father’s footsteps and attended USC. She, like Hermione, graduated with honors and is by many accounts the brightest star in the organization.
When Hermione gets herself in trouble, though, it is usually because she overthinks the situation or uses too much of the seemingly endless knowledge she has of technical magic. Doesn’t that sound familiar to the overly-business-centric meetings the organization reportedly had with LaMarcus Aldridge? When Hermione was able to balance her booksmarts with the life experience that occurred along the way, she became as formidable and interesting a character as the series had to offer.
Here’s where we acknowledge someone the Lakers lost and will never be able to legitimately replace: Dr. Jerry Buss. I remember reading and re-reading the chapter where Dumbledore was slain and fell from the top of Hogwarts, not wanting to believe what I had just read. My eyes were surely lying to me. Dumbledore couldn’t die. That wouldn’t make sense.
I similarly refused to acknowledge Dr. Buss’ passing. He was just too great to lose. Ask anyone even remotely connected with the NBA and they’d tell you Buss was a genius. The entire league – let alone the Lakers – would not be the same without Buss’ involvement. The Lakers are still trying to navigate one of the most competitive ecosystems without the Buss siblings’ father just as our favorite trio traversed the world rudderlessly before finally figuring out Dumbledore’s message and saving their universe.
We can only hope as Lakers fans the aforementioned Buss siblings can similarly make sense of the world they’re trying to understand without the guiding voice of their childhoods.