Jeanie Buss says she can’t bear all the losing, and the Lakers owner is putting the team’s success and lack thereof squarely on herself.
“I’m growing impatient just because we had the fourth-highest payroll in the league,” she said in an exclusive interview with Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times. “When you spend that kind of money on the luxury tax, you expect to go deep into the playoffs. So, yeah, it was gut-wrenching for me to go out on a limb like that and not get the results that we were looking for. … I’m not happy, I’m not satisfied.”
Despite the presence of stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis, the Lakers have not fared well since winning the championship in the Disney bubble. They were eliminated from the first round of the playoffs in 2021 — and despite trading for Russell Westbrook, couldn’t even make the play-in tournament this year.
“We don’t like to be missing the playoffs, I understand the fans anger and frustration,” Buss told Plaschke. “I’ve got to make it better.”
As it stands, the Lakers are seeking a replacement for former coach Frank Vogel, fired at the end of the season. Along with that, GM Rob Pelinka is said to be entering the offseason on the hot seat.
That said, Buss showed support for Pelinka, adding that former coach Phil Jackson and current senior advisor Kurt Rambis both have input.
She also noted that agent Rich Paul and Klutch Sports, which represent James and Davis, are not as heavily involved in personnel decisions as they are made out to be by the media and fans.
“Do they have final say? No. Are they running the team? No, no, not at all,” said Buss. “I am controlling owner of the Los Angeles Lakers, I’m held accountable for every decision that’s made here.”
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