Lakers owner Jeanie Buss ‘gets impatient’ after high-priced roster misses playoffs: ‘It was heartbreaking’

Los Angeles Lakers owner Jeanie Buss wants you to know she’s not happy. She’s not happy the Lakers missed the playoffs, and she’s not happy the roster that went 33-49 in the regular season cost more than $200 million, including some cash. death and an estimated $45 million luxury tax bill, per Spotrac.

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times‘ Bill Plaschke, Buss described all the defeats as ‘heartbreaking’, ‘heartbreaking’, ‘extremely disappointing’ and ‘extremely disappointing’. She said she understood fans’ “anger and frustration” and vowed to “make it better”. She also said she wants LeBron James, who has one year left on his contract and will be eligible for a two-year extension on August 4, “to feel confident in the team, that we have the pieces to win a championship. .”

Buss did not address Russell Westbrook future with the franchiseciting the fact that after firing Frank Vogel, the Lakers find themselves without a coach: “Having a conversation like that is premature. Now we have to find the right coach to lead this team. Depending on the style of play that coach wants to play, given the roster we have, everything has to start falling into place.”

With James, 37, and Anthony Davis, 29, as cornerstones for the Lakers, Buss said she believes the front office can build another championship team. “There’s no reason for me to think we can’t win with them,” she told the Time. “Something I learned from Phil Jackson is that there is always a path to success. Buss said she has “full faith in our front office, which is led by Rob Pelinka,” and “full faith that he can build a roster and find a coach who will get us back where we belong. “.

Buss defended Kurt Rambis and said she admired his basketball knowledge, but denied Linda Rambis had any input into basketball-related decisions. She confirmed that she still relies on Magic Johnson and Phil Jacksonadding that both want the Lakers to succeed.

As majority owner, Buss is “held accountable for every decision made here,” she said. She said the team was “not for sale” because it was important to her late father, Jerry Buss, that the team stayed in the family: “I like to say my dad had his kids, but the Lakers were his baby, and he gave me custody of the baby, and I’ll see to it that the baby grows.”

For this baby in particular, the sad reality is that he has little flexibility this offseason. There’s no robust trade market for Westbrook, who has a $47.1 million player option next season. The Lakers won’t be rewarded for their terrible season with a lottery pick because they traded him as part of the deal with Davis. They also don’t have a second-round pick. Assuming they don’t waive and stretch Westbrook, all they have at their disposal is the $6.3 million taxpayer mid-tier exception, minimum contracts and trades. It’s a dreadful situation for a team with a very heavy roster, but Buss said she wants the fans “to be optimistic that we’re going to get the team back on track like they expect.”

Although Buss expressed support for Pelinka’s front office, she said she would “look into everything” and “make the tough decisions” if the team “didn’t live up to Lakers standards.” Looks like another season like the one that just ended won’t be acceptable.

“I just get impatient because we had the fourth highest payroll in the league,” Buss said. “When you spend that kind of money on the luxury tax, you expect to go far in the playoffs. So yeah, it was heartbreaking for me to go out like that and not get the results we were looking for. I’m not happy, I’m not satisfied.

The Lakers would have been interviewed former Portland Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts and former Golden State Warriors coach Mark Jackson for the position that previously belonged to Vogel. Reported candidates also include Toronto Raptors assistant coach Adrian Griffin and Milwaukee Bucks assistant coach Darvin Ham.

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