I'm torn on that. Like most Lakers fans, I'm no Jim Buss fan, but after the past couple of years, I've come to find Jeanne no better and, in some ways, worse. From her embarrassing #stay campaign, to her apparently being the impetus behind the Kobe extension, to her inability to stay out of the press, she hasn't shown that she belongs there any more than Jim. I think a lot of the problem with the Lakers over the past few years is that they're too in love with their past and Jeanne seems particularly bad in that regard. It feels like all her decisions are guided on nostalgia and what she thinks her dad would love. And if she can screw over Jim, in the process. She's helped craft the image that the Lakers not only suck, but are completely dysfunctional.
The other issue is this: for as dreadful as the Lakers have been in pretty much nearly every area, one area where they have been good over the past couple of years is drafting. A lot of that has been due to the work of Ryan West (Jerry's son), who's apparently being groomed to take over Kupchak's role when he retires. My fear with Jackson taking over is, given his already terrible history with Jerry West, who Phil pretty much kicked out, that he would purge people like him and Kupchak. The other issue is: is he going to create another Fisher situation where if the coach wants to keep his job, they basically have to run the triangle? And for as much as I love Phil the coach, while it's still early, he hasn't exactly wowed in NY either, so far.
I do think he would be a great asset in recruiting FAs, though, in a Pat Riley kind of way, but given him being in the FO would probably signal Jeanne then running the show… that would also be very bad. In my dream world, the Buss kids sell; or at the very least, get the hell out of making basketball related decisions and just be owners.
Oh, I totally agree with you there regarding the present Buss involvement. It now seems obvious that the hierarchy is weak at the very top (ie. anyone with the Buss surname). I know we'll never get back to the glory days of yesteryear. The early 2000's and then the '08 and '09 seem like so far ago now. Kobe is the last connection to that era.
I used to have Lakers season seats through the Showtime period. We were expected to win and we did. What a fun time that was! Then, these last two championship runs the Lakers had added to the legacy. Jerry Buss was such an integral part in making this organization the great one it is. Add Jerry West to that. You can also add Pat Riley and Mitch K to that. Phil had a huge part in the last run of rings. I also agree in that Ryan West seems to be a really good evaluator of talent and may indeed be part of the FO. I am afraid that the current ownership situation (as constructed) will not bring us that type of success we expect.
I know the Lakers brand is something to be proud of. But as it is currently assembled, can we actually expect top FA's that may be available (thinking Westbrook and Durant) actually see this as a place to sign? I don't hold out much hope. That is where a really enticing name (such as Phil) comes into play. Knowing that Byron Scott is the coach and that the Buss family still makes the main decisions, is probably going to keep this organization floundering like it is.
That's why I advocate getting Phil back here and hiring Luke Walton as coach (or someone of that ilk). Then at least, you have a reason for a possible FA to consider coming to play for the Lakers.
This era of success is over. I also agree in that Jeanne, Jimmy and the Buss group either need to:
1. Sell to a strong, new ownership group.
2. Defer all basketball decisions to a top notch basketball management staff and stay out of basketball decisions altogether. Just sign the checks and be invisible.
I'd love to be wrong and think that there is a chance that things can turn around soon. But, that light at the end of the tunnel is basically a candle flickering with a strong wind blowing through.