Lazenby: Chaz - aka Bartender Scout hired by Jim Buss

Lazenby: Chaz - aka Bartender Scout hired by Jim Buss

Postby Jordan-esque on Thu Mar 01, 2012 12:56 pm

Hoopshype

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They met years ago while hanging out at the horse tracks. One of them was trying to manage his rich and famous father’s horses. The other was a garrulous sort, oodles of charm but no money. He was looking to find his luck.

The horse business didn’t work out so famously for either of them. But they had found each other and friendship is always a rare and precious discovery.

Chaz Osborne would say time and again over the ensuing years that he would have nothing if it weren’t for Jim Buss. “Jim, that’s his boy,” explained one of Osborne’s friends recently.

But that doesn’t matter. Jim’s father was Jerry Buss, owner of the Los Angeles Lakers, and it was decided he would go into management training to learn how to run the team as a basketball executive.

There was a good bit of eye rolling, particularly in his own family, but, hey, he would be training with Jerry West and Mitch Kupchak and Ronnie Lester. In time, there would be some media scrutiny at the oddity of his training as a scout, at the idea that he was the Buss son chosen to someday inherit the running of the franchise.

Jim Buss responded with his now famous quote. "Evaluating basketball talent is not too difficult," he told Sports Illustrated many years ago. "If you grabbed 10 fans out of a bar and asked them to rate prospects, their opinions would be pretty much identical to those of the pro scouts."

That quote set Jerry West’s stomach acid to boiling, but, hey, West’s stomach acid was always boiling. Besides, the Logo left the organization after Phil Jackson took over as coach.

Educating Jim Buss became the task for Kupchak and Lester. And that went pretty well, by most accounts, despite a sibling rivalry in the organization that pitted team marketing executive Jeanie Buss, and Jackson’s girlfriend, against her brother Jim.

In time, the complaints leaked from Jeanie’s side about the supposed ineptitude of Jim. He was a terrible communicator, they said. He didn’t even have an office in the team headquarters, they said. The Lakers will fall apart once he takes over, they said.

But the biggest charge of all? That Jim Buss, party dude, had put his personal bartender on the team payroll. That, of course, would be his old horse track buddy, Chaz Osborne.

Well, that day has arrived. Jim Buss is now in charge of the Lakers. Phil Jackson has retired. Jeanie Buss, once very involved with the team, keeps her distance and rarely attends games.

And various members of the press, most notably myself, have played Chicken Little, running around looking for signs that the sky is falling.

That may well be. Only time will reveal the direction of the Lakers, who face new challenges in a new era for pro basketball.

But it’s time to set the record straight. Chaz Osborne is no bartender.

He’s gotten some scrutiny in recent months due to the fact that he’s now one third of the scouting staff for the Lakers.

He’s a good-natured sort (although he did not return a call about this piece) and has quipped to friends that he probably needs to go to bartending school so that he can fit his public profile.

Other facts have emerged as well, according to one of his buddies. Chaz is a great guy, genuinely liked by many in the Lakers organization. He’s also comfortable hanging out at the bar with hoops celebs like Charles Barkley.

Plus Chaz is not shy about picking up a bar tab. He gets great comps from Las Vegas and he’s pretty free in sharing them, even with Lakers reserves, such as Luke Walton.

But the friend points out that Chaz, who lives in San Diego and commutes to Lakers offices, is working really hard to become an excellent scout.

Chaz explained to friends that he’s really busy this year because Jim Buss laid off the scouting staff last summer that had produced so much Lakers success over the years. Those layoffs included Ronnie Lester, the trusted Lakers executive who had spent years helping to populate the roster with top talent.

Because of the layoffs, Chaz tells friends he’s seen more than 50 college games and works hard at sitting courtside and filling in the scouting reports for the Lakers.

It’s a big year in the upcoming college draft, supposedly ripe with talent. And the draft has become more important than ever with the NBA’s new collective bargaining agreement forcing teams like the Lakers to curb dramatically their spending on veteran players. Now, pro teams really have to find college players who can play in the NBA.

The other one third of the scouting for Jim Buss’s Lakers is Jesse Buss, a younger brother in his early 20s who, according to media reports, was arrested a while back on an alcohol-related charge while on a scouting trip in Kentucky. That doesn’t surprise some around the Lakers, because Jesse Buss has been known to entertain quite an entourage while following the team.

There’s no word on how well Kupchak trusts the reports he gets from the new scouting staff. He and Chaz are said to be cordial when they happen to pass one another in a hotel lobby.

Chaz and Jim Buss, however, remain in close contact by phone. Jim Buss is described by many as more than a bit isolated from the NBA world, and Chaz certainly helps by providing opinions and discussing personnel.

And when Chaz steps to the window to pick up his pass for road games, he always makes sure to remark that Jim Buss arranged the passes for him.

It may well be that Chaz and Jim parlay their eye for horses into something relevant as far as human hoops talent.

About the only thing that’s clear right now is that Jim Buss seems determined to prove the theorem he articulated to Sports Illustrated years ago. Some guys from a bar are as good as any ol’ professional scout.

It’s important to draw the line between the guys at the bar and the bartenders themselves, it seems.

It’s not Money Ball. It’s more like Homey Ball.

As a longtime Lakers observer and fan, I have one major thought about this. Good luck with that. Please, good luck.
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Re: Lazenby: Chaz - aka Bartender Scout hired by Jim Buss

Postby TIME on Thu Mar 01, 2012 1:02 pm

The team has three scouts on payroll.

Chaz and Jesse Buss are two of them. :help:
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Re: Lazenby: Chaz - aka Bartender Scout hired by Jim Buss

Postby XXIV on Thu Mar 01, 2012 1:04 pm

This is just depressing to read as a Lakers fan.
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Re: Lazenby: Chaz - aka Bartender Scout hired by Jim Buss

Postby Jordan-esque on Thu Mar 01, 2012 1:05 pm

Funny thing in that article is, Chaz the Scout Bartender probably never even had a Bartending License since he never went to Bartending School.
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Re: Lazenby: Chaz - aka Bartender Scout hired by Jim Buss

Postby John3:16 on Thu Mar 01, 2012 1:11 pm

It’s not Money Ball. It’s more like Homey Ball.

:man10: :man10:



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Re: Lazenby: Chaz - aka Bartender Scout hired by Jim Buss

Postby gcclaker on Thu Mar 01, 2012 1:11 pm

We'll see how this pans out... Uneasy about it to be honest. It's like having Bill Murray and Harold Ramis type characters run the organization.
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Re: Lazenby: Chaz - aka Bartender Scout hired by Jim Buss

Postby Dyeggoo on Thu Mar 01, 2012 1:13 pm

Jordan-esque wrote:Funny thing in that article is, Chaz the Scout Bartender probably never even had a Bartending License since he never went to Bartending School.


And he isn't really a scout either...

Jim will be the undoing of this team.
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Re: Lazenby: Chaz - aka Bartender Scout hired by Jim Buss

Postby abeer3 on Thu Mar 01, 2012 1:18 pm

so we're running our organization like lebron ran his pr.

excellent.
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Re: Lazenby: Chaz - aka Bartender Scout hired by Jim Buss

Postby lakers_09tv on Thu Mar 01, 2012 1:19 pm

Is this a ****** Joke? Jim's best friend and his 20 something year old brother are the scouts? Are you ****** kidding me?
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Deron Williams - “I hate ’em, you know,” he said the other day. “I hate the Lakers. They’re so good. I hate them because they win all the time. They’re a tough team. … We definitely talk about it. It’s not a secret. We hate the Lakers.”
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Re: Lazenby: Chaz - aka Bartender Scout hired by Jim Buss

Postby lakers_09tv on Thu Mar 01, 2012 1:20 pm

abeer3 wrote:so we're running our organization like lebron ran his pr.

excellent.

I've never heard of an NBA team being run like this in my life.
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Matt Barnes - "I respect all my opponents but I fear no one."

Deron Williams - “I hate ’em, you know,” he said the other day. “I hate the Lakers. They’re so good. I hate them because they win all the time. They’re a tough team. … We definitely talk about it. It’s not a secret. We hate the Lakers.”
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Re: Lazenby: Chaz - aka Bartender Scout hired by Jim Buss

Postby wcsoldier81 on Thu Mar 01, 2012 1:27 pm

From a model chick to a bartender ... I can't wait for Jesse Buss to take over , our next scouts will probably be Charlie Sheen and a pornstar
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Re: Lazenby: Chaz - aka Bartender Scout hired by Jim Buss

Postby Lakerjones on Thu Mar 01, 2012 1:28 pm

This is the kind of report that engenders the doubt in Laker fans' minds about Jim Buss's assertion of power in the organization. You just wonder what the hell he's thinking. Is Jim Buss being cheap or just stupid? But yes, this is him actually demonstrating what his belief that scouts are good for nothing basically and he could line up a bunch of random guys in a bar and do a better job than pro scouts. I just really question this guy's decision making.

In another thread I was preaching patience to see what happens this year. One thing WILL be certain however regardless of the outcome. This year is on JIM BUSS, period. This has nothing to do with Jerry or Mitch at this point. Good or bad he either gets the praise or takes the blame.
Last edited by Lakerjones on Thu Mar 01, 2012 1:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Lazenby: Chaz - aka Bartender Scout hired by Jim Buss

Postby lakers_09tv on Thu Mar 01, 2012 1:29 pm

I wonder what Kobe feels when he hears about this stuff.
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Deron Williams - “I hate ’em, you know,” he said the other day. “I hate the Lakers. They’re so good. I hate them because they win all the time. They’re a tough team. … We definitely talk about it. It’s not a secret. We hate the Lakers.”
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Re: Lazenby: Chaz - aka Bartender Scout hired by Jim Buss

Postby last stand on Thu Mar 01, 2012 1:32 pm

Oh look lazenby again
everyone has their top 10 lists of women heres mine

1. emma watson
2. Natalie Portman
3. Mila Kunis
4. Emma Stone
5. Megan Fox
6. jessica biel
7. Teresa Palmer
8. Katy Perry
9. jessica alba
10. Olivia Wilde
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Re: Lazenby: Chaz - aka Bartender Scout hired by Jim Buss

Postby Helljumper on Thu Mar 01, 2012 1:33 pm

Everyone here acts like they'd be able to figure out exactly what to do in the front office's situation. We're all supposedly hardcore Laker fans who know more about the team than the people who actually run it (At least, that's how some of you guys act). Well if that's the case, then what's the problem with Jim hiring a bartender? Do you guys really think he was just some chump who Jim wanted to donate money to? He was probably just a huge fan who talked to Jimmy about the Lakers while he was at the bar and demonstrated his knowledge. Honestly, if someone spends decades of their life watching every single Laker game they can, they'd have just as much insight into the team's needs as some professional basketball analysts.

BTW, before I get called out for being a crazy Jim supporter, I'm just saying that we shouldn't read too much into these articles. It's possible that Jim's a complete moron who hired his idiotic friends. But it's also possible that these "friends" were just acquaintances who he knew had good basketball insight. Honestly, maybe I'm just in denial but whatever. I just refuse to believe that anyone in that kind of position of power could be as incompetent as some of these articles make him out to be at first glance. Do you really think Jerry would just sit by and let Jim completely destroy everything he's built? It's more likely that Jim actually isn't as big an idiot as we all think. After all, our team hasn't imploded yet. We're still a solid team that just needs some small tweaks (which may happen soon) and those results are all that matter.
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Re: Lazenby: Chaz - aka Bartender Scout hired by Jim Buss

Postby Lakerjones on Thu Mar 01, 2012 1:37 pm

^^ Chaz the bartender knows as much about scouting as Ronnie Lester? I highly doubt it.
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Re: Lazenby: Chaz - aka Bartender Scout hired by Jim Buss

Postby Lakerjones on Thu Mar 01, 2012 1:38 pm

XXIV wrote:This is just depressing to read as a Lakers fan.


^ Seriously.
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Re: Lazenby: Chaz - aka Bartender Scout hired by Jim Buss

Postby Lakerjones on Thu Mar 01, 2012 1:39 pm

gcclaker wrote:We'll see how this pans out... Uneasy about it to be honest. It's like having Bill Murray and Harold Ramis type characters run the organization.


^^ For real. Except it's not funny like a Murray/Ramis film would be.
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Re: Lazenby: Chaz - aka Bartender Scout hired by Jim Buss

Postby gcclaker on Thu Mar 01, 2012 1:43 pm

Lakerjones wrote:
gcclaker wrote:We'll see how this pans out... Uneasy about it to be honest. It's like having Bill Murray and Harold Ramis type characters run the organization.

^^For real. Except it's not funny like a Murray/Ramis film would be.

...or maybe a succesful ending for a pair of underdogs. I honestly WANT them to do well as a ages long supporter of the team but even from that standpoint it just doesn't look or feel right.
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Re: Lazenby: Chaz - aka Bartender Scout hired by Jim Buss

Postby nameant on Thu Mar 01, 2012 1:45 pm

I remember a long time ago we had a thread that was something like "What would it take for you to no longer be a Lakers fan?" or something like that. I feel like we're heading in the direction some of us brought up in that thread.
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Re: Lazenby: Chaz - aka Bartender Scout hired by Jim Buss

Postby Jordan-esque on Thu Mar 01, 2012 1:46 pm

Helljumper wrote:BTW, before I get called out for being a crazy Jim supporter, I'm just saying that we shouldn't read too much into these articles.

It's possible that Jim's a complete moron who hired his idiotic friends. But it's also possible that these "friends" were just acquaintances who he knew had good basketball insight.

Mmm.... probably not:

Jim Buss responded with his now famous quote. "Evaluating basketball talent is not too difficult," he told Sports Illustrated many years ago. "If you grabbed 10 fans out of a bar and asked them to rate prospects, their opinions would be pretty much identical to those of the pro scouts."


As Jimbo said in his own words, probably just a sports fan out of a bar.
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Re: Lazenby: Chaz - aka Bartender Scout hired by Jim Buss

Postby Jordan-esque on Thu Mar 01, 2012 1:49 pm

Btw, this is what Jerry West said in regards to Jim Buss saying that scouting is so easy:

Sports Illustrated:

Yet Jimmy thinks scouting is vastly overrated. "Evaluating basketball talent is not too difficult," he says. "If you grabbed 10 fans out of a bar and asked them to rate prospects, their opinions would be pretty much identical to those of the pro scouts."

That comment mystifies West. "I have great admiration for what our scouts do," he says. "If the job is so easy, then why do some teams always have more success than others?"
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Re: Lazenby: Chaz - aka Bartender Scout hired by Jim Buss

Postby LakerLurker on Thu Mar 01, 2012 1:50 pm

Jordan-esque wrote:
Helljumper wrote:BTW, before I get called out for being a crazy Jim supporter, I'm just saying that we shouldn't read too much into these articles.

It's possible that Jim's a complete moron who hired his idiotic friends. But it's also possible that these "friends" were just acquaintances who he knew had good basketball insight.

Mmm.... probably not:

Jim Buss responded with his now famous quote. "Evaluating basketball talent is not too difficult," he told Sports Illustrated many years ago. "If you grabbed 10 fans out of a bar and asked them to rate prospects, their opinions would be pretty much identical to those of the pro scouts."


As Jimbo said in his own words, probably just a sports fan out of a bar.


And that quote was taken when the Legendary Jerry West at the helm.... talk about disrespect.
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Re: Lazenby: Chaz - aka Bartender Scout hired by Jim Buss

Postby TIME on Thu Mar 01, 2012 1:51 pm

last stand wrote:Oh look lazenby again


At least he presented some facts to consider. Your post not so much.
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Re: Lazenby: Chaz - aka Bartender Scout hired by Jim Buss

Postby John3:16 on Thu Mar 01, 2012 1:55 pm

Lakerjones wrote: Chaz the bartender knows as much about scouting as Ronnie Lester? I highly doubt it.


:bow: We all have opinions on how the Lakers should be ran. Some make sense, others don't. However, I don't want anyone from a bar or even someone from CL running the Lakers. I want an expert. Someone who has a keen eye for seeing what others don't. I read once that Phil Jax and Jerry West were watching a game and they both picked up on things no one else did. That's who I want. Just because someone has the title, the paycheck, and makes a mean margarita doesn't mean they're the professional.
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