You can’t argue with the man, no matter what he says, he has the championships to prove it to you.
ESPN: Los Angeles Lakers owner Dr. Jerry Buss claims he did not green light the team’s active summer of free agency with the Miami Heat specifically in mind, but he’s certainly excited to see how Miami’s Big Three will measure up to what he believes could be his best team in 30-plus years.
Speaking at The Bicycle Casino before the Mariani/Buss Charity Open, a no-limit hold ‘em tournament to benefit the Lakers Youth Foundation, Buss didn’t do a very good job of keeping his poker face.
Buss, 76, said the Lakers’ moves were motivated by the constant goal to improve and that the Heat weren’t a clear-cut threat, mentioning Orlando, Boston, Chicago, Denver and Utah as fellow foes. However, when questioned about LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and Co., he couldn’t help but get worked up a little.
“Suddenly there’s this juggernaut out there that we have a chance to play against and that excites me, that really excites me because, quite honestly, I think we can beat them and I’m looking forward to playing them,” Buss said. “I don’t think it’s automatic that Miami will be our biggest opponent come the end, but on the other hand, I must admit they have the world’s attention and that means we’re going to be on center stage when we get a chance to play them.”
Still, Buss maintained that all of the personnel decisions were independent of the Heat.
“Our intentions were to sign those players prior to Miami coalescing all of the talent that was left over,” Buss said. “I don’t think we reacted to them. Once the season is over, we look backwards on the season and say, ‘Were there any weaknesses? Could we do something to improve this team?’ And we did that quite independently of Miami. … I think we just prepared ourselves for the general war, not specifically for anyone.”