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L.A. Times: Jerry Buss looked relaxed in a seashell-print shirt and khaki shorts as he sat down near lush hotel grounds of botanical gardens and koi ponds, a paradoxical setting for his frank discussion of the very real possibility that his star player might not be on the team in two years, if not sooner.

The owner of the Lakers spoke publicly for the first time since his team’s off-season of disarray, providing details of his involvement and his deepest thoughts during several months’ worth of distress signals emitted by Kobe Bryant.

The conversation Wednesday also steered in other directions, touching on his opinion of his front office, whether he would sell the team in coming years, and Coach Phil Jackson’s unclear future with the franchise.

Buss, who has presided over eight championships and five other NBA Finals appearances in his 28 previous years of ownership, acknowledged considering offers for Bryant over the summer — none of them deemed remotely good enough to act upon — and also conceded that the gaping hole in Bryant’s contract could make the nine-time All-Star an ex-Laker by 2009.

Buss, 74, also said Bryant was not necessarily off the table now that the new season had started. Offers will inevitably continue to trickle in, particularly if the Lakers struggle before the February trade deadline.

“I would certainly listen,” Buss said. “At any time, I think you have to do that with anybody. It’s just part of the game, to listen to somebody who has a dissatisfied player that you think is going to fit. You can’t keep too many loyalties. You’ve got to look at it as a business. He looks at it the same way I look at it.”

Continue reading ‘Buss: Bryant isn’t untouchable’

Related:
Buss open to trading Bryant
Door not closed on Kobe deal
Video: Kobe Is Not Untouchable
Shaq surprised by Buss’ comments regarding trading Kobe

  • Michael_23

    What the hell is going on?

    I’m speechless? Will probably vent out in a future post.

  • http://hzmdesigns.com hZm

    Ugh. Great timing right?

  • kb24isthebestplayer

    jerry buss thinks mitch kupcake did a great job? are you kidding me?

    trading c.butler for kwame butterfinger brown and getting LO, brian useless grant and butler for shaq?

    fantastic job eh.?

  • SILO

    A very interesting and insightful interview.

    Dr. Buss seamed humbled more than stressed or any other sort of emotion that involves stress.

    Seems like we all were on the same page as for getting the Lakers to Championship Contenders or at least making the team better.

    Not surprised that he has listen to trade offers from variable teams but obviously none satisfy are winning standards.

    Like Buss stated, that deal needs to be reasonable and not just for the sake of trading Kobe.

    Dr. Buss looks to have his full confidence and trust within his son and Mitch to do their job unlike us criticizing them for their lack of moves this off season. Maybe, we should be thanking them for not making any deals for the sake of a deal. They are trying to make this team better and any deals presented and proposed have not done the job in their eyes.

    Lets face it, Odom and Bynum for Jermaine O’neal was never going to upgrade out team no matter how desperate or willing you were for this trade.

    The team may look like a first round knock out and Front Office looks messy but lets face it here, its been a long time since the Lakers have been in this type of situation. The front office, is probably trying to play catch up on their sleep especially Mitch. The Front Office, despite what you may think, is doing their job even no deals done to make this team a contender.

    For a lasting note, if a trade comes along that looks to good to be true and is set to make the Lakers a championship team or a better team now or later, with or without Bryant. Lakers come first than Kobe. I want to win and everyone who is a laker fan and works for the Lakers wants to win.

    Question is, how bad?

    Like the headline says, “Bryant isn’t untouchable”.

    Could you trade Kobe to win?

  • Michael_23

    We’re just geting started with the pre-season and this comes out … I had it. Whether this is true or not, I”m sick and tired of this kind of news. I don’t care if it’s the front office or some lame reporter like Ric Bucher, the season is at hand and the time to focus is now.

    I don’t care what the business holds for Buss, winning is winning. Other than family, this organization should be focused on winning. I will still never forgive Buss for letting go of Shaq. They should have treated him like they did with Bryant and should not have traded hm. They should have taken the summer off let him cool off, resign Phil Jackson and compete for more titles.

    There are so many committed fans and lovable Laker fans here in LA. So committed that if Buss were to damange this team more in the near future, I think a fan would actually assasinate Jerry Buss.

    Then new ownership right? But to his son? I think he’ll be scared and just offer the team to Magic Johnson. Had to mention that in the end for a good laugh. Cause I’m kind of ticked off right now.

    I hope Kobe and Phil can just shove this article up this journalist’s face and focus on winning.

  • http://myspace.com/tobekaker STPLG

    Honestly, as much as I like Kobe, if he wants out then let him go. We can got 2 or 3 really good players for him, like KG , Arenas and Lebron
    James , That would only be and extra 2 million a year or so for the laekrs to pay, kobe gets 17 mill, James get 7, Arenas gets 5 and Idk about KG but ill say 5

  • Michael_23

    SILO,

    I think the best rumored trade was for Kobe to go to Chicago for a packaged deal of Deng, Gorden, Hinrich, a draft pick, and some $$$. I thought that would be the closest to equal value while keeping LO and Walton in the team.

    The thing I’m not liking is how this news has come about now. Yes, it’s good that we know the truth, but the focus of this team now should be winning. Let’s hope that this Laker squad can get the 2nd round of the players and then we can evaluate their performance after the season and then see what’s best for the Laker organization. Phil says he has 3/4 weeks to decide to sign an extention. I believe it’s an additional 2 years. If he knows Kobe is leaving, why would he sign the contract? I think his health will be ok by then so signing or not signing will say a lot about what he thinks about the organization and/or Kobe.

  • SILO

    [quote comment=”14336″]Honestly, as much as I like Kobe, if he wants out then let him go. We can got 2 or 3 really good players for him, like KG , Arenas and Lebron
    James , That would only be and extra 2 million a year or so for the laekrs to pay, kobe gets 17 mill, James get 7, Arenas gets 5 and Idk about KG but ill say 5[/quote]

    there is no way in the rafters, could you get Lebron, or KG. If you were to trade Kobe, ur getting young but already proven talent. Trading star for star doesnt even happen anymore because mostly those teams are already established.

    Though we could sign Arena’s if Kobe were to be traded.

  • two0one7

    Here we go again. My god the season has started, can we think positive for once and let these issues subside? If it happens, it happens. Right now, as far as I’m concerned Kobe will retire as a Laker.

  • MacBSlick

    L.A. Times….enough said…

  • http://hzmdesigns.com hZm

    [quote comment=”14340″]L.A. Times….enough said…[/quote]

    Also The OC Register.

  • SILO

    [quote comment=”14337″]SILO,

    I think the best rumored trade was for Kobe to go to Chicago for a packaged deal of Deng, Gorden, Hinrich, a draft pick, and some $$$. I thought that would be the closest to equal value while keeping LO and Walton in the team.

    The thing I’m not liking is how this news has come about now. Yes, it’s good that we know the truth, but the focus of this team now should be winning. Let’s hope that this Laker squad can get the 2nd round of the players and then we can evaluate their performance after the season and then see what’s best for the Laker organization. Phil says he has 3/4 weeks to decide to sign an extention. I believe it’s an additional 2 years. If he knows Kobe is leaving, why would he sign the contract? I think his health will be ok by then so signing or not signing will say a lot about what he thinks about the organization and/or Kobe.[/quote]

    yeah i know about that packaged deal and i wasnt really in favor of it either. I want a deal that says “Future Championship” written all over it but now a days that kinda hard to accomplish.

    You are not going to get equal value ever for Kobe Bryant. Only way possible is for a three way deal. Talk about the biggest blockbuster trade ever created by human hands.

    Why now? Why do people always ask this. Hello? Its the Lakers! I thought ever laker fan is used to this by now.

  • steve

    silo…Great post….

  • Choco

    T.J. Simers is behind all this…

  • SILO

    [quote comment=”14343″]silo…Great post….[/quote]

    Thanks Steve, appreciate it. Really do.

  • MacBSlick

    Yeah I noticed that after I had commented on it. Ding normally stays away from this kind of Journalism. But I guess Jerrys Interview was a new one. Why He decided to talk about this crap now is beyond me. I just hope it doesnt affect this Team. Seems like an odd time to bring this out again. Im not sure what the point is. He pretty much deflected any criticism away from his Front Office like thier totally blameless for what happened with Kobe. If this team crashes and burns like it has the last 3 years He can stick this interview up his behind. I totally dont understand why He decided to bring this up again. I think Hes delusional and out of touch with reality. If Phil doesnt sign now we all will no why. Kobe will certainly Opt out. And we will be back to where we started 3 years ago.

  • keep24

    This might just be the straw that broke the camel’s back!

    Dr. Doolittle current’s position about the team and Kobe will be the reason why Kobe leaves. All this fool had to do was show a little class, grace and politics.

    He should have kept his mouth shut, go to work, show other free agents and potential talents that the Lakers are still about winning rings and nothing more.

    Andrew F#$%ing Bynum is “untouchable” and KB is not? Is that what they’re saying?

    We need to get this man back on his Meds A.S.A.P. !

  • E-ROC

    The timing is on point. Dr Buss was drunk when did that interview or smoking that ganja. Why even say anything like that after the first game of the preseason? People wonder why Kobe wants to leave.

    Mitch didn’t do the best or a terrific job. He’s horrible. The trades he has made are obvious. What about this year’s draft?? Crittenton is an obvious choice, but drafting two Euro players who won’t have any impact on this team this season or next, was horrible. He could have had DJ Strawberry and Rashard Jones Jennings who lead the nation in rebounding. Hell, Mitch could’ve drafted Trey Johnson and I would have been fine with that. What about signing Fisher? He GAVE Fisher most of the MLE when he could’ve had Jason Hart and Ime Udoka. Fisher is on his last legs and is going to get buried by Parker, Nash, Terry, Deron Williams, and Baron Davis.

    You’re not going to get anything for Kobe, especially if that team is trying to win a ‘chip like the Bulls. You won’t get Deng or Hinrich. You’d get something like Gordon, Noah, big contract, and some picks. That’s about it.

  • kyler_hay

    i cant believe what i read

  • steve

    Its very late but before i go to bed…..Ithink the reason why he did the interveiw is because his mind is already made up about trading kobe…this will be his last as a laker ..

  • steve

    Right or wrong its nice to know what the owner is thinking

  • http://myspace.com/awkman einyo

    SHUT YOUR FACE DR. BUSS!

  • gugy

    Kobe’s leaving in 2 years or less.
    You can write this.

  • Tim-4-Show

    I find it interesting that instead of trying to convince Kobe to stay by telling him what moves he’s trying to make, he tells Kobe that leaving 10 million fans might not be the best thing.

    Ha ha ha. Buss severely underestimated Kobe’s desire to be a champion.

  • daboss1848

    Silo, great take.

    Seems straightforward to me:
    Unhappy player. Owner tries to reason with unhappy player. Unhappy player remains unhappy. Owner tells unhappy player that he will try to accomodate the unhappy player’s wishes as long as it is not to the detriment to the Owner. Throughout the process, the Owner communicates with the unhappy player, to the extent of even showing him the offers he is receiving.

    Sounds to me like an honest owner.

    Its actually a real simple concept – it’s where the concept of “inmates running the asylum” comes from.

  • PHANTOM

    I’m sorry i have a real hard time believing anything the lakers Fo says. Who do you listen to Jerry, Jeanie, Jim, Mitch? There all saying different things and working in a different direction. The last 5 years has there been a more disfuctional Fo than the lakers? The Lakers need stabilty there someone like lets say west…

  • kb24 4life

    buss is an @#$%^ ,
    how can you say that a 19 year old andrew bynum is untouchable and the best player in the world isn’t untouchable.

  • daboss1848

    Phantom – NY Knicks.

    kb24 4 life – KB was untouchable, KB made himself touchable. Plus, show me where Jerry Buss said Bynum is untouchable.

  • PHANTOM

    at least the knicks will do whatever it takes to get talent and spend the money eventhough they picked the wrong players. at least there trying…

  • daboss1848

    Here’s to hoping the Lakers dont try like Knicks . . .

  • PHANTOM

    something is better than nothing… even a bad trade would be good for the lakers. they tried with the lamar-kobe connection and failed, lamar and kobe would be much better apart than together.

  • kgmvp

    This is crazy. Dr.Buss should know what his doing cause this is going to be a distraction for the Lakers. What is he thinking if the team is not good before Febuary he will trade kobe and he expects that they will win that´s crazy talk by the doctor. Man it´s just to crazy hope he sell´s the team. If they trade kobe they should trade him for a good or good players. GO LAKERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    REPRESENT!!!!

  • http://hzmdesigns.com hZm

    [quote comment=”14356″]Kobe’s leaving in 2 years or less.
    You can write this.[/quote]

    Yeah, at this point that is pretty obvious.

    Things can change, but it doesn’t look like it will this year.

  • Michael_23

    Back in 96, the Lakers FO and players seemed to be a stable bunch. Not a lot of drama which attracted Shaq to come to hollywood. Now that all this bull crap is happening Shaq left and we’re finding it difficult for good free agents to come here. And KG said it himself, “Well with the whole Kobe situation …”

    It’s not what it used to be. Buss said it and Shaq said it before he left the Lakers, it’s about Business.

    When is it not going to be just a business here and about winning? Buss says one thing in the summer saying he’ll do whatever it takes to get players to help Kobe. Then he says, I’m listening to trade offers.

    Stupid …. It undermines Jerry Buss as an owner. If he’s going to retire soon he’ll be recognized as an old man sleeping with 20 yr olds, a drunk, and an owner who let the Lakers become losers.

    And dont’ tell me he’s an owner who looks to win. Looking at the Shaq trade, I thought we’d get at least 1 all star in return. They should not have let him go unless we got comparable talent. Maybe we did in Caron Butler, but then we gave him away to and got even more worse.

  • lakerfan81

    people are way over reacting to this. Come on. Read what was actually said before jumping to conclusions. He is just being honest. This is a reasonable take on the article that says exactly what I thought when read it.

    http://www.forumblueandgold.com/

    And I don’t know why everyone is saying Bynum is untouchable. He basically says that Odom, Bynum, and Kwame were all trade bait but no one was biting with anything that was worth taking. PLEASE read the article before responding emotionally to it.

  • Michael_23

    I just listened to a Podcast from Lakers.com on Ronny saying that the guys are having a good time. In fact he says that him, Kobe, Cook, Jordan, and Vlad had dinner the other night at a restaurant. This is the kind of relationship they need to establish a connection and get to know each other a bit more.

  • TheLAunit

    Bryant is untouchable, I Cant believe He’s saying this BullSH*t just when I Thought everything was getting better. Buss your a nutt, Kobe will still be the best when he turns 38. Why don’t you just retire?…..PLEASE, IT WILL MAKE US ALL HAPPY!!!I HATE jOKiN BUss.

  • kb24 4life

    daboss1848
    kb24 4 life – KB was untouchable, KB made himself touchable. Plus, show me where Jerry Buss said Bynum is untouchable.

    when at last years trade deadline lakers fo didnt traded bynum for kidd, showed us that he is almost untouchable , i think bynum will be a star but in like 3 or 4 years but now we have to appease kobe

  • yowsurs

    Wow, have we sank this low? Jerry Buss is telling us Kobe is NOT untouchable, but yet he won’t trade JKidd for Bynum?

    I’m confused… Kobe is the best player on the planet right now, Bynum is unproven. I am a Laker fan, not a Kobe Lover, but I have to side w/ Kobe, that management office is in deeper troubles than we thought.

    I don’t mind trading Kobe if we get a championship team together, but if we let him walk like Shaq and get nothing in return, I will be a forced to reconsider my loyalty to the Lakers until mangement is changed!

  • SILO

    [quote comment=”14360″]I’m sorry i have a real hard time believing anything the lakers Fo says. Who do you listen to Jerry, Jeanie, Jim, Mitch? There all saying different things and working in a different direction. The last 5 years has there been a more disfuctional Fo than the lakers? The Lakers need stabilty there someone like lets say west…[/quote]

    Who do you listen to? I would say Jeanie for the honest to god truth behind the scenes of the Lakers. Still when Dr. Buss speaks people will listen. BS or not people will take his words with a grain of salt just like our President.

    You might not like it. You might not believe it. But sure as hell you will listen and respect it.

  • lakerschamps08

    yea this is really wat need now…. but if lakers do trade kobe it will be to the bulls but for pick(s) noah,duhon,gordon or luol deng not both caz vulls wont do that…. but this is just great wat now..

  • kobe-wan kenobi

    buss is totally brain-damaged!
    he has alzheimer for sure!
    How can you say that kobe is not untouchable?
    now? i am sure kobe is so pissed right now! He will eave for sure and he will leave for nothing, since he has the last word on a deal… he will not accept to go in a team that has to give too many good players… and get weak, he will wait 2 years and sign as free agent, and Dr Moron Buss will lose the best player on the planet for less than K. Brown!!!!
    How can you say that kobe is not untouchable?
    he is by one of the best player ever, amazing working attitude, clutch.. and so on and he is not untouchable ? only because he wants a winning teAm?
    this is pathetic, Buss does not want anymore to invest money to win, and this is the proof!
    shaq was the proof also, since he did not want to renew his contract, ( we could have won at least one more ring w the good lazy guy, not the one we have now… who worth more than one of the greatest playmaker in the game, j. kidd!!!!!
    i am disgusted!
    when kobe leaves i will stop rooting for the lakers and switch to whatever team kobe will play for!
    someone please shoot this dumb S S *&t head of Buss and his whole family!!!!!

  • Thomas

    What a jackass. This is the guy that filles the seats in the Staples Center. Trade him away and u’ll lose everyone. Plus this guy is ur only hope to win another championship.

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