Lakers President Jeanie Buss: ‘There’s Nowhere to Go But Up’

The Los Angeles Lakers’ decision to dismiss head coach Byron Scott came as a surprise to even team president Jeanie Buss, who said she didn’t know that her brother (vice president of player personnel Jim Buss) and general manager Mitch Kupchak had decided to cut ties with Scott.

Jeanie also addressed Jim’s promise to step aside should the Purple and Gold remain terrible next year.

The co-owner says she’s optimistic about the Lakers’ fortunes going forward after enduring the worst season in franchise history.

Per the LA Daily News:

In 2014, Jim Buss told his five siblings, including Lakers president Jeanie Buss, he would step down in three years if the team did not reach that benchmark. That expiration date apparently is set for after the 2016-17 season. […] “He’s the one who made it public,” Jeanie Buss said an appearance on Colin Cowherd’s radio show on Tuesday. “I have no reason to think he cannot be successful in terms of putting together a winning team.”


They have set franchise records for worst losses in a season for two consecutive years. They have struck out both in playoff appearances and landing an elite free agent for three consecutive years. They have gone through a coaching search for the fourth time in five years. And yet… “What I made clear to our front office is we’re going to be judged by wins and losses,” Jeanie Buss said. “It isn’t about having a marquee star player and coming in last place. That’s not what Lakers basketball is. Lakers basketball is winning basketball.”


They will have up to $60 million in cap space because of Kobe Bryant’s retirement, Roy Hibbert’s free agency and Brandon Bass’s plan to opt out of his player option. They have a young core nucleus featuring a visionary point guard (D’Angelo Russell), an aggressive scorer (Jordan Clarkson) and versatile forwards (Julius Randle, Larry Nance Jr.). The Lakers also have 55.8 percent odds in landing another young player by virtue of retaining their top-three protected pick. […] “I have no reason to think they can’t show a major improvement from this past season,” Jeanie Buss said. “This past season was the worst season in Lakers franchise history. There’s nowhere to go but up. Now they have all the tools that a front office needs to make trades and sign free agents and keep our draft pick in the lottery.”