The action — Lakers owner Jerry Buss showing up to watch a team practice for the first time in a couple years — speaks of concern and a guy looking to jump start his team.
The words were those of someone not worried in the least.
Buss did attend practice and spoke to ESPNLosAngeles’ Dave McMenamin and other reporters.
“I’m kind of used to up and down,” Buss said. “We’ve had a lot of up-and-down seasons that turned out pretty up and a few that have turned down. I’m not surprised. Nothing’s different, nothing’s different…”
“I’m always hopeful,” Buss said. “Even when we didn’t make the playoffs, I thought we’d win the championship.”
Buss did not address the team as a whole but did speak to several members of the Lakers individually including Ron Artest and Lamar Odom.
The Lakers take on the San Antonio Spurs Thursday night at Staples Center. With the Lakers 1-5 against the other elite teams in the NBA, there has been added importance put on this game by the fans and some in the media.
The fact Buss showed up to practice at all — in the wake of Jerry West saying the team looked old, then GM Mitch Kupchak and Magic Johnson saying the team should look at trades — at least shows some level of concern. But this is a Lakers team that has won two titles and had a slump in January last season, so nobody in the Lakers camp is close to hitting the panic button.
They just want the team to stop hitting the snooze button.