Mitch: Jerry Buss' Failing Health Made The Lakers Impatient

Mitch: Jerry Buss' Failing Health Made The Lakers Impatient

Postby CaCHooKa Man on Wed Feb 27, 2013 1:25 am

Lakers GM says Jerry Buss' poor health made the team impatient

Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak joined John Feinstein on CBS Radio on Tuesday and spoke at length about the legacy of Dr. Jerry Buss, as well as the direction of his team.

One interesting topic: the move to fire Mike Brown five games into the season, a decision that seemed very knee-jerk and impatient. Kupchak actually agrees with that perception.

"The one thing that was a big factor is our lack of patience," Kupchak said. "When we made the changes we made in the offseason, we really did it with a two- or maybe even a three-year window, probably a two-year window to do our best and win a championship. And clearly we knew Dr. Buss was not in great health, and we were hoping for the next year or two we could put something on the court that would result in being in the hunt at the end of the year for a championship.

"And when we didn't feel we could get there after a preseason and a small number of games, we didn't feel we had the patience to wait and see if it was going to work out," he continued. "And that's really why we made the change we made so early."

So that's Kupchak saying essentially, the team became far more impatient because of the failing health of Buss, which contributed to Brown's firing. Pretty interesting.

"We could've waited another month or two, but at the time I believe we were 1-4," Kupchak said. "And if we would've waited another month we could've turned it around, or we could've been 2-12. We just didn't want to wait. And that's because we feel our best chance to win is this year and next year."

Buss died last week, which obviously was devastating news for the organization. Buss was one of the greatest owners in professional sports history and a true gem to have in the league. And while his team hasn't performed up to expectations this season, it at least had been in the process of playing better when Buss passed.

The Lakers are three games behind the Rockets for eighth with 24 games to go -- not insurmountable, but definitely a steep hill to climb. Kobe Bryant has guaranteed the Lakers will be in the playoffs. Kupchak acknowledged that it might be out of their hands.

"We need help from the teams above us," Kupchak said. "We need them to cooperate and put together two or three game losing streaks and we have to continue to play well."

Kupchak was also asked about the team's chemistry and the reports of tension between players. Something he definitely didn't deny.

"Up until lately, I don't think anybody in our locker room was getting along. If you went down there, you'd see a bunch of grumpy, upset players, and that's because we were losing. Losing brings out the worst in everybody, and nobody is happy."

Kupchak recently said that he viewed Dwight Howard as the future of the franchise, a player to build around once Kobe Bryant decides he's played enough. And he reiterated that point.

"The good thing is with Dwight on board, at some point we have him as our young player going forward," Kupchak said.

Obviously for that to happen, Howard has to re-sign this summer. He's an unrestricted free agent and could easily walk to another team. But the way Kupchak spoke, he seems to be extremely confident the Lakers will keep him long-term.

Although as he admitted, the Lakers don't exactly have much patience. They're in win-now mode, and that's the only focus. It's dictating every decision they're making, every move they're considering. Kupchak says the window is another year, maybe two. But if the Lakers don't start winning and don't get help these last 24 games, the window on this season is about to slam shut.
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Re: Mitch: Jerry Buss' Failing Health Made The Lakers Impatient

Postby GoldenKnight on Wed Feb 27, 2013 1:34 am

Sad & interesting, hopefully we can finish strong for Dr. Buss now that he has passed.
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Re: Mitch: Jerry Buss' Failing Health Made The Lakers Impatient

Postby wcsoldier81 on Wed Feb 27, 2013 2:20 am

Impatience often results in bad decisions ... which was definetely the case here ( though coaching isn't the primary reason of our team struggles , the MDA hire sure didn't help).
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Re: Mitch: Jerry Buss' Failing Health Made The Lakers Impatient

Postby Weezy on Wed Feb 27, 2013 3:39 am

It makes a lot of sense, because 1-4 is really quick to fire a coach, but what makes no sense is running out and hiring 'Antoni. You want to be good, to do better than Brown, so you hire 'Antoni? That's not impatience it's stupidity.
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Re: Mitch: Jerry Buss' Failing Health Made The Lakers Impatient

Postby lakersin4 on Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:21 am

Weezy wrote:It makes a lot of sense, because 1-4 is really quick to fire a coach, but what makes no sense is running out and hiring 'Antoni. You want to be good, to do better than Brown, so you hire 'Antoni? That's not impatience it's stupidity.

An emotional decision by Jim to try to bring showtime back so his father could enjoy his last days that much more? Kind of makes sense from that perspective. Maybe they thought Mike Brown was just a horrible fit & any good coach could win with this talent.
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Re: Mitch: Jerry Buss' Failing Health Made The Lakers Impatient

Postby TaniBoyz on Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:47 am

impatient eh
so then they decided to hire a coach who recently got surgery and can't coach for weeks
and also who's primary offensive focus in his system is a guard who's also out for weeks

:bang:
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Re: Mitch: Jerry Buss' Failing Health Made The Lakers Impatient

Postby abeer3 on Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:59 am

i didn't disagree with the brown firing, just the timing. this explains some of that. i did disagree with the dantoni hiring, and i still feel like that was a pretty big mistake. mitch can't comment on this until they (hopefully) fire him this summer.
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Re: Mitch: Jerry Buss' Failing Health Made The Lakers Impatient

Postby lotus on Wed Feb 27, 2013 8:20 am

Convenient excuse, but it doesn't explain hiring a defensive coach with no offensive system. Then hire an offensive coach with no defensive system. Hopefully the next coach is more well rounded.
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Re: Mitch: Jerry Buss' Failing Health Made The Lakers Impatient

Postby trodgers on Wed Feb 27, 2013 9:07 am

lotus wrote:Convenient excuse, but it doesn't explain hiring a defensive coach with no offensive system. Then hire an offensive coach with no defensive system. Hopefully the next coach is more well rounded.

I don't know if it's an excuse. Maybe it is.

But surely the explanation for hiring D'Antoni is that if the goal is win-now, then go for the coach with whom Nash has had a great deal of success. The thought was, presumably, to put the ball in his hands more and let the offense fall in line around him.
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Re: Mitch: Jerry Buss' Failing Health Made The Lakers Impatient

Postby Aonex on Wed Feb 27, 2013 9:26 am

^^You left the part out where they weren't sure about Phil's health and how it would hold up to the rigors of all the travelling in the season or how long he planned on coaching, not to mention Phil's desire to have a role in personnel decisions (personally, I think personnel decisions should be left to just Mitch). Hindsight is 20/20, but at the time, as Trodgers mentioned, pairing D'Antoni with Nash didn't look like such a bad idea.

EDIT: looks like the comment I was responding to was deleted.
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Re: Mitch: Jerry Buss' Failing Health Made The Lakers Impatient

Postby LOL on Wed Feb 27, 2013 9:30 am

what ever the reason is, lakers [Swearing is not permitted at Clublakers. You must edit this post prior to submitting.] up bad by hiring dan toni, no excuses.
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Re: Mitch: Jerry Buss' Failing Health Made The Lakers Impatient

Postby therealdeal on Wed Feb 27, 2013 9:35 am

lakersin4 wrote:
Weezy wrote:It makes a lot of sense, because 1-4 is really quick to fire a coach, but what makes no sense is running out and hiring 'Antoni. You want to be good, to do better than Brown, so you hire 'Antoni? That's not impatience it's stupidity.

An emotional decision by Jim to try to bring showtime back so his father could enjoy his last days that much more? Kind of makes sense from that perspective.

Bingo.
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Re: Mitch: Jerry Buss' Failing Health Made The Lakers Impatient

Postby John3:16 on Wed Feb 27, 2013 9:41 am

I hope Nash / Howard decisions were not "rash" and simply logical basketball decisions. I remember when Bynum got hurt and it persuaded the Lakers to trade for Gasol. I fear that we wouldn't have made that move if Bynum didn't get hurt, which makes me pause when giving credit to the Lakers FO.

As for the Brown / D'Antoni switch, I understand what Mitch is saying. If Nash is your PG for the next 3 years, D'Antoni makes sense. Trying to jump start the team in the owners last days make sense.
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Re: Mitch: Jerry Buss' Failing Health Made The Lakers Impatient

Postby dwighthowardsdad on Wed Feb 27, 2013 9:50 am

Makes sense. Impulse is not something we're use to witnessing from this Lakers organization, so it makes sense they were making decisions emotionally...
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Re: Mitch: Jerry Buss' Failing Health Made The Lakers Impatient

Postby Chopper on Wed Feb 27, 2013 10:03 am

Dr. Buss reigned over multiple championships. He had nothing left to prove.
This wasn't "win one" before it's too late. They should never have rushed bad decisions.
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Re: Mitch: Jerry Buss' Failing Health Made The Lakers Impatient

Postby noobiew on Wed Feb 27, 2013 10:06 am

Win the Championship for Dr Jerry Buss
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Re: Mitch: Jerry Buss' Failing Health Made The Lakers Impatient

Postby Lakerjones on Wed Feb 27, 2013 10:51 am

abeer3 wrote:i didn't disagree with the brown firing, just the timing. this explains some of that. i did disagree with the dantoni hiring, and i still feel like that was a pretty big mistake. mitch can't comment on this until they (hopefully) fire him this summer.


I agree with everything here. It was unfortunate timing regarding the Brown firing, but I think it was necessary. The guy hadn't won a preseason game, was 1-4 and the team looked utterly perplexed. It wasn't working out.

My biggest issue was the next hiring. That was where the impatience really came into play. Nothing wrong with starting over with a new coaching hire. But I was irate with how they rushed it. They completely bypassed Sloan and McMillan. It didn't have to be a two horse race between only D' Antoni and Phil. They had a couple/few other viable options, which were all better than D' Antoni in my opinion.

But now that I understand that Jerry was on his very last legs, I understand why they didn't take their time and do it right.

D' Antoni needs to go however. Hopefully the FO isn't too attached to him. The team deserves better. We don't run his system on offense for the most part and he doesn't have any clue on defense. He's not exactly a great motivator and we all know that Dwight does NOT like him or his system. If you want to move forward with Howard, better get a more post game hospitable coach. Last I checked Jerry Sloan, HOF first ballot coach was still available.
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Re: Mitch: Jerry Buss' Failing Health Made The Lakers Impatient

Postby therealdeal on Wed Feb 27, 2013 11:37 am

^ Sloan would have him pick and rolling too. :man10:

I think the FO will give D'Antoni a chance next season if he makes the playoffs this season. If he misses the playoffs, that'll be the "excuse" they need to get rid of him.

Once they get rid of him they need to get on the phone with Shaw. He's still a young guy and yes he might run the Triangle, but that's what Howard wanted. And it might be one of the few systems that can effectively slow down fast teams. It'll always have 2-3 guys outside and those guys need to get back in transition every play. Meanwhile it allows us to utilize our multitude of post players.
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Re: Mitch: Jerry Buss' Failing Health Made The Lakers Impatient

Postby gcclaker on Wed Feb 27, 2013 1:59 pm

Other matters...explains the Abdul-Jabbar statue whom Buss was trying to do right by and the O'Neal jersey retirement.
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Re: Mitch: Jerry Buss' Failing Health Made The Lakers Impatient

Postby Lakerjones on Wed Feb 27, 2013 2:05 pm

therealdeal wrote:^ Sloan would have him pick and rolling too. :man10:

I think the FO will give D'Antoni a chance next season if he makes the playoffs this season. If he misses the playoffs, that'll be the "excuse" they need to get rid of him.

Once they get rid of him they need to get on the phone with Shaw. He's still a young guy and yes he might run the Triangle, but that's what Howard wanted. And it might be one of the few systems that can effectively slow down fast teams. It'll always have 2-3 guys outside and those guys need to get back in transition every play. Meanwhile it allows us to utilize our multitude of post players.


Oh for sure Sloan would have them pick and roll, and I would love every minute of it. I have no problem with Nash pick and roll all day. I love it. Kobe won't love it, but regardless I'd love to see a more flexible coach here in terms of the offense than D' Antoni, and Sloan's attention to defense would be great as well.

I have no problem with Shaw either. Again, to me the best of all worlds would be if Jim were willing to capitulate and hire Phil for one year and let him do what he wants in hiring his own successor coach which would hopefully be Shaw. Dwight would be stoked, Laker fans would be stoked. It would be a win - win. Of course I'm not holding my breath though.
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Re: Mitch: Jerry Buss' Failing Health Made The Lakers Impatient

Postby Lakerjones on Wed Feb 27, 2013 2:06 pm

gcclaker wrote:Other matters...explains the Abdul-Jabbar statue whom Buss was trying to do right by and the O'Neal jersey retirement.


^^ I agree GCC.
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Re: Mitch: Jerry Buss' Failing Health Made The Lakers Impatient

Postby Weezy on Wed Feb 27, 2013 2:13 pm

therealdeal wrote:
lakersin4 wrote:
Weezy wrote:It makes a lot of sense, because 1-4 is really quick to fire a coach, but what makes no sense is running out and hiring 'Antoni. You want to be good, to do better than Brown, so you hire 'Antoni? That's not impatience it's stupidity.

An emotional decision by Jim to try to bring showtime back so his father could enjoy his last days that much more? Kind of makes sense from that perspective.

Bingo.


This is true, but sadly Jerry is gone now, so the 'Antoni mistake can be fixed any time.
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Re: Mitch: Jerry Buss' Failing Health Made The Lakers Impatient

Postby Chillbongo on Wed Feb 27, 2013 2:23 pm

Chopper wrote:Dr. Buss reigned over multiple championships. He had nothing left to prove.
This wasn't "win one" before it's too late. They should never have rushed bad decisions.

Interesting view. But Buss loved the Lakers, and if they knew he had terminal cancer, a championship would've been a nice way for him to leave us.

Nonetheless, there was NO need to offer D'Antoni a 3/4 year deal. Should have been a 2 year deal with a team option on the 2nd.

It baffles me to make ANOTHER long term commitment to an unproven coach, while still having to pay this one. Now we face paying 3 coaches next year, or worse, having D'Antoni here again and wasting our payroll on another wasted season.

Again, this "impatience" screams Jim Buss. I just don't think Mitch would react that way.
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Re: Mitch: Jerry Buss' Failing Health Made The Lakers Impatient

Postby Doc Brown on Wed Feb 27, 2013 3:08 pm

I hope they are real impatient if this happens.....

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If the Philadelphia 76ers let Doug Collins go after his don't-look​-at-me-loo​k-at-the-p​ rant (but I'm not
throwing anybody under the bus), sources say that assistant coach Michael Curry will take over. Curry, who was last a head coach with the Detroit Pistons, also is expected to be a candidate for the job, long-term. 6 minutes ago


If the Sixers let Collins go, Lakers need to swoop in ASAP. Interesting situation to monitor.
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Re: Mitch: Jerry Buss' Failing Health Made The Lakers Impatient

Postby dwighthowardsdad on Wed Feb 27, 2013 3:23 pm

^I'll take Collins. He's better then what we have...
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