With Jim Buss' self-imposed deadline for contention drawing closer every day while the Los Angeles Lakers continue to struggle, there has been louder and louder wondering if the Buss family will eventually sell the team their legendary father Jerry helped lead to 16 NBA championships.
According to Joey Buss, the second youngest Buss sibling and Los Angeles D-Fenders team president, selling the team is not something their family is considering. Buss spoke with Mike Bresnahan of the L.A. Times in a wide-ranging interview about his own personal history and his time with the D-Fenders and Lakers, and he revealed the family is "absolutely" not planning to sell the Lakers.
"We're not going to sell the team," Buss told Bresnahan. "I can speak for myself mostly, but I think my dad's legacy is so strong with the basketball world. When you think of the Lakers, you think of Dr. Buss. We want to keep that forever. That's the goal."
Despite rumors to the contrary, this statement from Buss matches up with the initial reporting in the wake of Jerry Buss' death in 2013 that his children would continue to own and maintain the Lakers. Some may be disappointed with the results in their time without their father so far, but those hoping for new ownership will have to show a little more patience with the Buss family as they continue their attempts to rebuild the team into a winner.
It's hard to judge ownership in real-time in most cases, and the Buss children have dealt with more than their fair share of bad luck since taking over the Lakers. However, some of their struggles have been at least in part of their own making, most notably their difficulties in free agency in the wake of Kobe Bryant s monster extension. If the current youth movement centered around D'Angelo Russell, Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson, and a few other young players with possibly one more incoming first round pick pans out, then there will be a lot less complaining about the Buss' stewardship. Until that happens though, fan pressure will likely only continue to intensify.
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