Wednesday, July 6th, 2011 at 9:50 am  |  15 responses

Did the Lakers Mistreat Fired Staff?

Like every other team in the League, the Lakers are looking to cut costs during the NBA lockout, and have reduced personnel. According to former assistant GM Ronnie Lester, however, LA did some of its front-office and scouting staff dirty. From ESPN: “This hasn’t been a good year so far. Already he’s lost his job, gotten divorced and sold his house. The team he helped assemble underachieved and got swept out of the second round of the playoffs. And yet Los Angeles Lakers assistant general manager Ronnie Lester considers himself one of the lucky ones … Barring a last-minute change of heart, Lester’s 24-year run with the Lakers will end when his contract expires this month. By then, at least 20 other Lakers staffers, including almost all of the scouts who work under Lester in the basketball operations department, will have already packed their belongings and headed home. They’ve been told little by the team, except that employees whose contracts expire on or after June 30 would not have their contracts renewed, and their jobs may or may not open up again down the line … Lester has worked with these men for the past three decades. He’s trusted them. Before the NBA draft, he had to say goodbye. ‘I feel bad because they’re great guys, they love the Lakers, they love working for the Lakers,’ Lester said. ‘They work really hard and they’re really good at their jobs and now they’re being thrown out in the cold with mortgages and kids to support, so it’s not a comforting thought’ … He’s grateful to the Lakers for hiring him as a scout back in 1987 and for everything that came after. But he’s confused about why it’s ending this way. ‘It’s awful funny that the Lakers, one of the highest grossing teams in the league, could do this to their employees, just throw them out in the cold,; he said.”

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  • todddd

    both jeanie buss and jim buss know very little about basketball. however, jeanie buss would have made better decisions because she knows she doesnt know anything about basketball. jim buss has fooled himself and its obvious he wants to outdo his father by making these kinds of rash decisions.

  • Jacqueline Mitchell

    I don’t like what Jim Buss is doing to his father’s team. I hope all these changes doesn’t make the Lakers mediocre.

  • Jer dawg

    Jim buss is Jim Dolan making dumb irrational decisions. Except he’s going to do it cheap and dirty. Dolan doesn’t strike me as cheap.

  • James

    That’s bad for business to treat your staff that way. I doubt Cuban would do the same.

  • MikeC.

    @Jer dawg – Dolan’s only redeeming quality is his willingness to spend. He’ll spend top dollar on coaches, GMs, Free Agents, etc. Typically, those moves backfire and he ends up wasting his money, but he wouldn’t do something like this. Dolan is dirty, but not cheap. The Lakers just signed that huge TV contract. Why would they drop all their scouts like that? Do they think that the scouts will just come running back after the lockout? It’s their right as a business to not renew someone’s contract, but this is a bad basketball move. Do they even have a scouting department now? Will the best of the best want to work for them if they know this could end up happening to them? Puzzling move.


    Quit crying so many unemployed and under employed Americans who have had to actually “WORK” for a living the sypathy card is in the mail. Alot of these NBA lifers can’t even tie there shoes and chew gum at the same time, and at the end of the day they always respond I played in the NBA. Sorry but that doesn’t cut it anymore, now if you said he was relieved of his duties and he actually had a degree from Harvard there would be some sort of grievance. The Lakers offerend him a one year deal and a 3 year deal at a reduced salary, he declined the offer. Okay pack your stuff, thats how it works. Jerry, Jim, Jeannie et al are going to make decisions that effect the bottom line, have you heard of the inheritance tax, well Jerry is still paying that off. Lesson learned when you have a job save your money, because nothing is gauranteed.

  • robb

    Jim “Fredo Corleone” Buss is f*cking up big time. Not good.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.l.brewer3 BlackPhantom

    F*ck Jim Buss. His terrible decision-making is about to run the team I love into the ground

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    I agree that dude just got fired like a lot of people, but I’m not sure what a degree from Harvard has to do with your ability to make quality NBA decisions either.

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    @ Allenp – Apparently people with Harvard degrees shouldn’t…get fired?

  • http://twitter.com/BeezKneezy LA Huey

    Why would I have sympathy for someone who has an Ivy League degree? Shouldn’t he be able to bounce back with his Harvard credentials?

  • andy

    hmm its sad but i dont think the lakers have a great scouring team. luke walton is the last rookie they drafted whos active with the team right?
    and the person who recommended shannon brown should keep his job
    and yes jim buss sucks

  • Soulman45

    The creek boys (Lakers)are a cheap bunch.

  • Arch

    Ebanks was decent @ WVU, Sasha was theirs too if im remembering correct…but so was Smush, mediocre choices @ best, although ur not gunna get quality draft picks wen ur #winning, or tradin em 4 megastars…Part of the Biz…LA owned up to the contracts, held up their end of the bargain. Scouts know wat it iz, jus like 3 tier players do…


    There will be times every business must make really TOUGH decisions. The way I see it, when one door closes in your life, another one opens with new possibilities, challenges, and adventures. BTW, GOOD MORNING!