After a disappointing run this season, there have been a series of rumors around the Los Angeles Lakers. Last week, several NBA Insiders, including Stephen A. Smith, suggested that the Los Angeles Lakers should consider trading James to get them out of the tricky financial situation. Moreover, James’ contract would be up for an extension on August 4 with only one year left in his current contract.
Soon after, the Athletic reported that Jeanie Buss would not want James to play out the final season of his contract if the King refused to extend his contract. The report gave way to speculations that the lakers might consider trading LeBron James this summer. Unfortunately, the matter could not be discussed currently due to the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement.
However, in a recent interview, Lakers owner Jeanie Buss talked about the decision-making inside the famed franchise and the team’s plans after having an awful run in the 2021-22 season. Buss addressed the rumors about LeBron James and his managing company Klutch Sports, while talking to The Los Angeles Times. Buss revealed that she is the controlling owner of the Lakers and must be held responsible for every decision that is made at the franchise.
The statement came after rumors about the Lakers front office blaming James, Davis, and Klutch Sports for the Russell Westbrook trade surfaced. Soe inside sources revealed that the front office felt pressure from LeBron’s agency Klutch Sports Group for the acquisition of Westbrook, who had a nightmare debut season for the Lakers.
Buss Disappointed By The Lakers’ Performance, Talks ABout getting Advice From LeBron James
Buss acquired Russell Westbrook to form a Big Three with LeBron James and Anthony Davis last summer. The two legends led the Lakers to a championship title in 2020. Moreover, James allegedly was heavily involved in the Westbrook trade. However, the move turned out to be an absolute disaster after Westbrook posted his career’s worst offensive performance during his debut season with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Jeanie Buss was not pleased with how the franchise performed this season. The 60-year-old revealed that the lakers had the fourth-highest payroll in the league. They spent a lot of money on luxury tax. And Buss expected the team to go deep into the playoffs. Jeanie admitted that she was frustrated and unsatisfied with the current state of the team. The Lakers owners added, “So, yeah, it is gut-wrenching for me to go out on a limb like that and not get the results that we were looking for.”
Addressing the issue of James’ involvement in major decisions, Buss accepted that it is normal to take advice from top players. Jeanie thinks that it is smart business as she wants James to feel confident in the team. Moreover, she wants to know from the team leader if they have the right assets to win the championship. Further, the Lakers owner added that James needs to be happy, and she wants to make sure that he is happy.
Buss Still Believes In James & Davis’ Combination
Jeanie Buss still believes that LeBron James and Anthony Davis can help the Lakers win another championship. There is no reason for Buss to think that the franchise cannot win with them. Jeanie revealed that Phil Jackson once told her there is always a path to success. Sometimes it does get a little harder, but you have got to see the ability.
Further, Jeanie opened up that she decided to do the interview after being in the background for too long. The Lakers president also focused on the fact that she will make difficult decisions, even if that means making changes. Buss said that she would look at everything as the team has not lived up to the Lakers’ standards. Jeanie added, “I will make the decision, because that’s what you have to do.”