It’s safe to say that this is the most important offseason season since Jeanie Buss has taken over the Los Angeles Lakers. All of the moves since their championship run have brought her to this moment. The Lakers are coach-less with a bit of a bare roster. The next few transactions made from bench personnel to starting point guard could shift them back to contention or spiraling through mediocrity.
Buss and the Lakers have never been known for sitting by idle. The track record of 17 championships should be enough evidence. We’ve seen them take substantial risks for payoff, such as using future assets to acquire Anthony Davis and to put the finishing touches on a championship squad. Buss can’t take another year like last season, and she’s letting it be known.
Her conversation with The Los Angeles Times’ Bill Plaschke said as much:
“I’m growing impatient just because we had the fourth-highest payroll in the league. … When you spend that kind of money on the luxury tax, you expect to go deep into the playoffs,” she told The Times. “So, yeah, it was gut-wrenching for me to go out on a limb like that and not get the results that we were looking for. … I’m not happy, I’m not satisfied.”
As expected, the frustrations are felt all around Laker Land. For Jeanie Buss, the pressure is even higher because of what’s led to this point. She took a risk hiring Rob Pelinka, who had little formal front office experience. She’s continued to seek advisement and guidance from Linda and Kurt Rambis. Now she’s tasked with balancing all of these things with the team’s relationship with Klutch Sports.
What will Jeanie do this off-season? The question remains loud and surrounded by anticipation to be answered. One championship has been delivered since Jeanie Buss took over for her brother, Jim Buss. One could argue that this still isn’t enough to call her time in charge as an absolute success. The Lakers have left a lot of meat on the bone, and with LeBron James winding down his career, you can’t follow that trend. As always, fans will find a way to trust that Buss will right the ship, but time is certainly ticking.