Press Telegram: My name is Jerry Buss, and why are people suddenly doubting me?
Are they suffering from amnesia? Do they forget that the Los Angeles Lakers have won eight world championships since I took over ownership from Jack Kent Cooke in 1979? Do they forget that no other NBA team has been that successful during this period? Do they forget Showtime?
Sure, we have struggled the past few years after winning three straight championships, but don’t all teams in this league struggle at times? Look at the Boston Celtics and New York Knicks. Those franchises also were once on top, but their decline has been a lot more dramatic than ours has been in recent times.
OK, I admit it, I’m solely responsible for us getting rid of Shaquille O’Neal. Kobe Bryant is right. He had nothing to do with it.
It was the simple fact of my not wanting to pay O’Neal because I frankly didn’t think he was worth it. Granted, O’Neal did a terrific job for us in the early going, but he then started to become complacent and started to put on a lot of weight and started to sit out too many games. No way I was going to give him a four-year contract extension of over $100 million.