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.'”