Jeanie Buss updated her autobiography “Laker Girl” recently to talk in some detail about how the entire Lakers hiring process that teased fans with Phil Jackson and landed on Mike D’Antoni. Buss said she was “stunned” and the incident almost sapped her passion for her job — the Lakers’ owner in charge of the business side of the operation — plus left her and her brother with a rocky relationship.
However, that was almost a year ago, the two are past that now and and are working very well together. Nothing to see here, move along (at least that’s the company line).
In the wake of the Los Angeles Times excerpt from the Buss memoir over the weekend, Jim and Jeanie Buss each released statements.
Jim Buss said:
“The words and sentiments in Jeanie’s new book reflect her feelings and frustrations nearly a year ago, and how she felt at that time. I understand that Jeanie felt that way, and why she felt that way. Since that time, we have discussed the situation, the circumstances that led to it, and our feelings about it. Both of us feel this has been resolved and have put this behind us.”
Jeanie Buss said:
“Jim has been great in terms of understanding my feelings about this and in fostering an atmosphere that has led to better communication. We have regular meetings and talks and are both committed to creating the best working environment possible, as are my sister and other brothers as well. We are focused only on what is best for the franchise and in making the Lakers championship contenders.”
Reports from around the Lakers have been that the Buss family is starting to find a system of working together that works for all of them. They are communicating better and have weekly meetings that go over every aspect of the Laker business (which is the lone family business at this point).
We’ll see how that ends up manifesting itself on the court (this is clearly a transition year for the team). It’s understandable that it would take the family some time to figure out how to make their complex business relationship work for everyone.
As I’ve said before, hiring Mike D’Antoni and losing Dwight Howard will not define the legacy of Jim Buss and this family, but what they do next will. They are building the foundation of their legacy in the next few years. We’ll see how that turns out, but at least the family is talking.
If you’re going to bet on an NBA player likely to be moved before the start of the NBA season — or at least by the deadline — Bucks’ big man Greg Monroe would be a good choice. It’s no secret he is on the trade block, the Bucks just aren’t finding a team making an offering to their liking.
What would Monroe like?
He probably wants to end up in New Orleans, ESPN’s Marc Stein said on the Lowe Post podcast.
Which makes a ton of sense — he was born in New Orleans, he wants to go home. The two sides have talked about a deal multiple times in the past, but nothing got done.
The problem is the Bucks are only getting rock-bottom offers for Monroe. On the upside, he’s an efficient offensive NBA big who got the Bucks 15.3 points and 8.8 rebounds a game last season. However, he’s a defensive liability who does not protect the rim, plus he’s a $17 million rental next season (he can and likely will opt out in the summer of 2017). Even teams that could use a scoring big are not going to give up much quality in a trade for a rental like Monroe.
The Pelicans already have Omer Asik and Alexis Ajinca as traditional fives, and they should play Anthony Davis there more anyway. Roster wise, the Pelicans would need to make some other moves for this deal to make sense.
But eventually, the Bucks will find an offer they are willing to take.
Venezuela is in its first Olympic basketball tournament in more than 20 years — they upset Canada and Argentina to win the FIBA Americas tournament last summer and earned the right to go to Rio.
But they are going to have to play there without the one NBA player on their roster. Greivis Vasquez, who had ankle surgery last December, announced he had to pull out, via the Nets.
If you want to know what this means for the Venezuelan team heading into Rio, well, they shot just 23.9 percent in an 80-45 loss to Team USA Friday night in Chicago — and that was by far the USA’s worst performance in the exhibition run-up to the Rio Games.
Vasquez should be getting decent minutes off the bench behind Jeremy Lin in Brooklyn this season. They need him healthy as the team tries to move from “god awful” to just plain “not good” next season.
Another smart move by the Spurs.
Monty Williams is one of the better assistant coaches in the NBA right now, and he was available (remember he understandably left Oklahoma City last season after the tragic death of his wife). He’s part of Mike Krzyzewski’s staff with USA Basketball this summer — watch him in practices at age 44 and he’s a better defender plenty of players in the league — and he wanted to get back on the bench.
San Antonio has snapped him up, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.
Sources told ESPN that Williams — who left the Oklahoma City Thunder’s bench in February after the tragic death of his wife, Ingrid — has been urged by Spurs coach Gregg Popovich to take as much of a role with the organization as he feels comfortable for the 2016-17 campaign.
The specifics of what role Williams would fill and how much time he could commit have not yet been determined, but sources say San Antonio has opened the door to either a coaching and player-development role or a front-office position (or a hybrid), depending on what he prefers.
One source close to Williams told ESPN that the 44-year-old “absolutely” intends to be a head coach in the league again after his expected stint with the Spurs. The source also said numerous teams, including Oklahoma City, have made similar offers to Williams for next season.
Williams will get another shot in the big chair down the line. In the short term, this is a smart move — nothing looks better on a resume than “Spurs” around the league right now.
Team USA had their “Tiny Dancer” moment.
Like “Stillwater” in Almost Famous, Team USA’s Jimmy Butler, Draymond Green and Kyrie Irving were leading a sing-along of Vanessa Carlton’s “A Thousand Miles” on the team plane out of Chicago to Houston for the USA’s final exhibition game. Hat tip Alysha Tsuji who pulled the snapchats.
Everyone was loving it… except for Carmelo Anthony, according to DeMar DeRozan.