Buss said his intent is to keep the Lakers together after this season, but he wouldn't commit to signing unrestricted free agents Lamar Odom and Trevor Ariza, nor would he promise Bryant a maximum extension if he opts out of his contract. Those decisions will be made after the season, Buss said, though he did admit, "We can't afford to lose Kobe."
Buss also downplayed the long-rumored notion that Bryant could bolt for Europe after the season if a team offered him a hefty enough raise.
"They have fewer games, smaller arenas, cheaper tickets and very little television, so I can't see it," Buss said. "Quite honestly I don't think that's a real threat."
One player Buss is relieved not to have to worry about leaving is center Andrew Bynum, who last month signed a three-year, $42 million contract with a club option for a fourth season. The Lakers were wary of giving a lucrative contract to Bynum without seeing how his surgically repaired left kneecap responded this season, but Buss said he's comfortable with the financial risk because the 7-footer could be "one of the great ones."
"The question we always had going in was what's going to be fair to Bynum and what's going to be fair to us," Buss said. "We wrestled with that for a while, and finally came up with something very close to what happened, and I feel it was very fair to both sides."
Buss also seems confident the Lakers will be able to retain Coach Phil Jackson for the foreseeable future, even though his contract expires after next season and his health remains a concern.
"With this team, he may grow very old and still be the coach," Buss said. "I won't give you a number of years, but I have to think he's going to stay longer than we would have imagined."
Buss expressed hope the Lakers could make another championship run -- one that culminates with a satisfying victory in Boston.
"One of the biggest reasons I bought the Lakers was to beat the Celtics," Buss said. "If you were a Lakers fan prior to my ownership and you sat there and watched the Celtics whip us so many times, you just got it into your soul that you couldn't stand the Celtics anymore."
Buss Won't Commit Long-Term to Odom, Ariza, Buss confident in retaining Phil
Posted November 10, 2008 - 03:54 PM
Posted November 10, 2008 - 03:57 PM
we probably need ariza more than we need odom at this point...sad to say
and i'd like to see phil stick around
Posted November 10, 2008 - 04:10 PM
United we stand. Divided we fall.
Posted November 10, 2008 - 04:22 PM
I hope we'll be able to keep all of our team together. If not, I hope we'll be able to keep at least most of the players.
I hope so to
Posted November 10, 2008 - 05:19 PM
Edited by Kobynum Gasodom 2, November 10, 2008 - 05:20 PM.
Posted November 10, 2008 - 05:25 PM
He's not worried about Kobe. Kobe wants to win and there won't be any team out there with as many as guns lined up long term with the same money to offer.
This time, Buss has real leverage. Kobe wants to win. LAL can win and he can still get paid more than anyone else on the team. I wouldn't be surprised if Kobe took a straight $100 mil contract at $20mil/yr for 5 years.
I'd offer McDyess 2.5 mil for 3 years, giving them a backup 4 for the next 3, making LO irrelevant for next year. I'd also offer Ariza 5 mil for 4 years. Bring Mihm back and we're set.
Posted November 10, 2008 - 05:27 PM
Edited by Kobynum Gasodom 2, November 10, 2008 - 05:27 PM.
Posted November 10, 2008 - 05:27 PM
Posted November 10, 2008 - 05:36 PM
Well see what happens Laker Nation.
What will happen is he will wait til the deadline, try to make a move, won't, and let people walk in the summer unless we win in convincing manner. Even then, he won't bid against himself.
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