Here’s a bit more from the Buss interview (article) that I posted last night… Good good stuff!
L.A. Times: erry Buss sat back in a supple leather chair, not far from an oil painting of James Worthy grabbing an alley-oop pass from Magic Johnson in a long-ago NBA Finals game against Boston, a symbolic backdrop these days for the owner of the Lakers.
In the latest offering of the difference a year makes, Buss, 75, was relaxed and humorous Sunday in an interview, revealing with a glint in his eye how badly he wanted a Finals rematch with Boston while also saying how much he wanted to keep Kobe Bryant if the 10-time All-Star became an unrestricted free agent next July.
Along those lines, Buss said he would continue to pay luxury taxes on an annual basis “if that’s what it takes to win.”
He also envisioned Coach Phil Jackson staying beyond the expiration of his contract after next season because “this team looks like a delight.”
The mini-riot Buss touched off last year by saying he would entertain trade offers for Bryant seemed to have taken place a century ago as he recounted more recent dealings with Bryant, including a key phone call after the Lakers acquired Pau Gasol in February.
“I think Kobe very definitely understands how hard I made the effort to get sufficient talent to win,” Buss said. “I was talking to him on the phone right as the Pau Gasol [trade] came through, and he said, ‘Wow, I can go win with this now.’ I think Kobe and I get along pretty well.”