Friday, November 16th, 2012 at 9:30 am  |  8 responses

Kobe Bryant Defends Lakers VP Jim Buss

Los Angeles Lakers fans seem to have forgotten how much they appreciated Jim Buss after landing Steve Nash and Dwight Howard. Ever since he elected to go with Mike D’Antoni over Phil Jackson, Buss has been widely criticized. According to Kobe Bryant, though, the unpopular executive is doing a great job. From the LA Times: “Kobe Bryant heard what Magic Johnson said about Lakers Vice President Jim Buss. It wasn’t kind. But Bryant said he’s had no problem with the younger Buss. ‘[Johnson’s] opinion is valued greater than most others because of what he’s done here with this franchise. I can only speak from my perspective in my dealings with Jim. He’s been phenomenal,’ Bryant said. ‘He’s seemingly made all the right choices. Going back in time, I’m sure he would have called me and consulted me on the Mike Brown hiring but that is what it is. Other than that, he’s been behind some pretty good moves, some pretty good trades for this organization.’ Johnson said Wednesday on Twitter he was ‘mourning’ because the Lakers hired Mike D’Antoni, not Phil Jackson, to be their coach. Johnson, a Lakers executive, later said on ESPN that ‘I don’t believe in Jim Buss. He’s made two critical mistakes already’ in reference to the hiring of Brown and the hiring of D’Antoni. Will D’Antoni have a fair chance to do his job with all the pro-Phil sentiment? ‘Probably not, but that’s L.A. for you,’ Bryant said. ‘That’s just being in a big market. He’s fine with it, he’s comfortable with it. He understands the situation. He’s not going to sit around and ‘poor me’ type of thing. That’s not who he is. He’s pretty sarcastic so he’ll fit in with this bunch quite well.’ Bryant preferred Jackson but was perfectly fine with the hiring of D’Antoni. ‘If I’m in here pouting and upset then he’ll have a very hard time here,’ Bryant said. ‘The fact that I’m genuinely excited about it, Steve [Nash] is, Dwight [Howard] is, Pau [Gasol] is, it makes it easy for everybody else to fall behind that.’”

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  • http://www.facebook.com/jay.brodes Jay Brodes

    kobe playing the role of derek jeter..i like this…trying to calm the drama! magic hold a lot of weight in LA. he actually should be running this team but he is not! i would be a lot happier!

  • shockexchange

    Now that he has more “yesterdays” than tomorrows in the L, Horry Jr is trying to make nice with management so he can have a role with the Lakers post-retirement. Also, he won’t have to wait 75 years for a statue like Kareem did.

  • Caboose

    When Jim Buss is fired, Kobe will then say that he wanted Jim gone all along and that he didn’t quite fit with the team.

  • http://www.facebook.com/shooting.guard.319 Shooting Guard

    kobe bryant the politician

  • yeee

    Kobe Bryant was defending Mike Brown about 3 weeks ago also.

  • Ben Ireland

    I don’t think Kobe will have a huge role with the organisation after he retires… Can you see Kobe coaching, or scouting, or trying to make trades? Seems like Kobe’s role will be more like Magic’s was, maybe a little ownership stake, and always around. He could be a fantastic analyst, simply because he doesn’t give a F***. Like Charles tho maybe too mean to make it the way Barkley has. But I don’t think he has to make nice with management to get a role if he wanted it… He’s the greatest Laker ever. Kobe also has absolutely no reason to start acting nice, everyone knows he’s difficult to deal with, he can’t change that reputation by being a supportive guy now. Kobe wants to win. Maybe he simply likes D’Antoni and there’s nothing else to it?

  • shockexchange

    Most of these guys don’t think they will return to the game after they leave. Most go on to do other things then realize that the one field they know the most about and were the most successful at was basketball. Despite their outside interests, If Kareem and Rick Barry knew that one day they would want to return to the NBA as coach, annoucer, etc., don’t you think they would have been a lot more collegial while they were playing? Trust me, Horry Jr wants that statue.

  • robb

    Kobe closing ranks. Well done.