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Reacts: Can the Lakers get back to title contention under Jeanie Buss?

After a season where ownership had such a big impact on the Lakers falling out of title contention, is it fair to wonder if the franchise can get back to that level under the current regime?

Oklahoma City Thunder v Los Angeles Lakers, Game 2 Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

Welcome to SB Nation Reacts, a survey of fans across the NBA. Each week we ask questions of the most plugged-in Los Angeles Lakers fans and fans across the country. Sign up here to join Reacts.

Sometimes, it’s hard to imagine that the Lakers won a title less than two years ago. It’s not the first time the point has been made, but it’s really wild to see how far the Lakers have fallen in the two seasons since.

There have been a number of reasons that the team has fallen to the depths it has, but ownership has played a big role in it. Setting aside the nepotism involved in so many of their hires — the latest of which includes Phil Jackson being involved in the team’s coaching search in 2022 — an unwillingness to go deeper into the luxury tax also saw the Lakers let Alex Caruso walk for nothing in the offseason.

As a result, doubt has started to rise as to whether the Lakers can bounce back and return to title contention under Jeanie Buss and the current ownership that systematically d. Specifically, that’s the subject of this week’s SB Nation Reacts survey.

In any normal scenario under a serious owner, general manager Rob Pelinka would have been fired after the catastrophic season. But because of Pelinka’s Lakers ties, he gets more time.

It’s a recurring trend across the front office and upper management as Jeanie Buss relies heavily on a circle of people who seem above criticism. Kurt Rambis, Linda Rambis, Jackson, Pelinka. No matter how bad things go for the Lakers or how much those figures have failed across the NBA, they have Jeanie’s ear, and nothing indicates they’re going to lose it.

The Lakers clearly can win a title under Buss, but getting back to title contention is very tough, and the Lakers are routinely setting up roadblocks for themselves that other franchises don’t have to deal with. It’s a silly exercise of self-sabotage but one the Lakers seem committed to so long as Jeanie Buss is in charge.

Has that shaken your faith in whether or not this is the right ownership group to lead the team forward into the next era of Lakers basketball? Vote in the poll above, and let us know why or why not in the comments below.

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