Almost 17 months ago to date, Los Angeles Lakers controlling owner Jeanie Buss made the gutsy decision to overhaul the team’s front office midseason, relieving her brother Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak of their duties. After signing LeBron James this summer, it’s hard to argue she made the wrong decision.
With James on the roster, the Lakers have a real chance of ending their five-year playoff drought come next season, which is plenty reason to celebrate. However, much like her father, Jerry Buss, Jeanie only has one goal for her team: To win championships.
In an interview with Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times, Jeanie didn’t sound like someone is satisfied just competing:
“We haven’t done anything yet,” she said.
Buss’s comments echo something Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka said about James the day he officially signed his contract.
“We don’t celebrate signings,” Pelinka said to reporters in a press conference aired by Spectrum SportsNet. “We don’t celebrate roster additions. We celebrate championships... Our ultimate celebration is to win an NBA championship. Of course we’re going to take pleasure, (because) as I opened with, it’s the ultimate validation for a player like LeBron to choose to come here, so that is a celebration, just not an ultimate celebration.”
If firing her brother wasn’t enough evidence that Buss means business, these comments certainly do the job.
Not even a summer that ends with arguably the greatest player in NBA history in a Lakers uniform satisfies Buss. There’s only one thing she cares about bringing to Los Angeles, and that’s the Larry O’Brien trophy.
The roster might still need some tinkering before the Lakers can say they’re contending for a title, but if Jeanie has made one thing clear since taking over the Lakers, it’s that she’s willing to do anything to win.