One of the criticisms of the Los Angeles Lakers’ front office in recent years has been the immense pull LeBron James seems to have over personnel decisions.
They have also gotten heat for promoting Kurt Rambis to the nebulous title of “senior basketball adviser” even though he lacks front office experience.
But one member of the organization whom fans and observers seem to think highly of is Jesse Buss, a younger brother of owner Jeanie Buss.
Jesse Buss has been in charge of the Lakers’ scouting department for years, and it appears that he and his brother Joey Buss are starting to play a bigger role in the franchise’s decision-making process.
Via The Athletic:
“While [general manager Rob] Pelinka has been given the ultimate power to make these decisions, sources say there was a desire for the entire group to come to a consensus. It appears the voices of Joey and Jesse Buss are being considered among Lakers leaders now more than ever. If they were going to gamble on a make-or-break move of this magnitude, the thinking went, then everyone had to have confidence in the same vision. But when that wasn’t the case, sources say, the choice was made by Pelinka to remain patient and see, yet again, if [Russell] Westbrook might find a way to make this imperfect fit with the Lakers work.
“Only time will tell if this sort of collaboration is the new norm for Lakers leadership, which in recent years had kept its inner circle small with Jeanie Buss, Pelinka and Rambis. Ironically, the decision to bring Westbrook to town the prior summer in the trade with Washington was not made in this sort of fashion.”
When Jeanie Buss cleaned house several years ago by firing her brother Jim Buss, who was the executive vice president of basketball operations, she was criticized for hiring Pelinka instead of bringing in someone who was an experienced executive, such as Jerry West, the team’s legendary GM from years ago. Pelinka had been Kobe Bryant’s agent for much of the late guard’s illustrious career.
Many feel the Lakers need a better vision and improved decision-making from their front office in order to return to their accustomed position at the top of the NBA.