Photo by Donald Miralle | All Sport

The summer of 2011 has brought on an entirely new LakerLand from the days of old. Gone from the top of the totem pole is Jerry Buss, who passed the operations of the franchise to his son Jim. Gone is the familiar coaching icon that was Phil Jackson, and gone were the mid-June confetti-laden celebrations with a season that ended in early May.

In the dog days of summer, the Lakers find themselves in the same spot as the 29 other NBA franchises, engaged in a lockout with no timetable for return. The uncertainty has led the Lakers to cost-cutting measures, ones that can dissociate themselves from the Phil Jackson era, but ones that also are purely economical as a result of a possible prolonged lockout.

According to a column from the Orange County Register, the Lakers chose not to renew nearly 20 expiring contracts for positions deemed unnecessary during the lockout. While the moves for the most part are to save funds, many of the long-time employees will now look to other teams for positions once the lockout is over.

Among the list of contracts allowed to expire were:

Alex McKechnie – Performance coordinator who worked to help big men Shaquille O’Neal and Pau Gasol build core strength, specifically coming to the aid of Gasol after the Memphis trade when Gasol’s issues with a sore back were a result of a lack of conditioning.

Ronnie Lester – Assistant general manager who discovered the next possible Laker big man in Andrew Bynum, and who had been with the club for 24 years .

Patrick O’Keefe – Video coordinator whom “Bryant would refer to as ‘my man’ for supplying all the extra personalized scouting footage he demanded.”

Chip Schaefer – Director of athletic performance and player development whose work in preventing and avoiding injuries came from his time in Chicago with Michael Jordan.

Rudy Garciduenas - Equipment manager who helped team trainer Gary Vitti with travel arrangements, worked as an administrative director for Magic Johnson’s Youth Camps, and had been with the Lakers since 1985

Chris Bodaken – Video coordinator who began working with the Lakers as a team attendent and intern before being hired full-time in 1993 to provide advance and college scouting video for the team.

Some former Laker employees have already begun looking for work with new clubs, with Alex McKechnie already moving on to the Toronto Raptors. While the positions aren’t necessary during the lockout where the league is destined to lose money, one has to have a level of concern for how the new Buss regime is treating it’s long-time employees, given these recent examples in addition to the coaching saga of Brian Shaw.

  • Twitter: @markfromVTA

    The manner in which Brian Shaw was treated was irremissable.  After interviewing for the Lakers head coaching position, he ascertained a couple of weeks later - watching it announced on ESPN TV – that Mike Brown had been hired for the position!  
    This noncommunicative prevalence has subsequently been echoed a number of times from other former staffers, reportedly attributable to one thing: the passing of the torch from Jerry Buss to his son.  Wecome to the Jim Buss era everyone!  Off to a hellava start aren’t we…  

  • Elizabeth Zuniga

    This is not fair that these people have to go on the Laker staff. I want this Lockout to stop Now. and I mean now. Lets NBA start playing and leave the NBA as the way it is.

    • LizzakeShizzow

      It’s not just the lockout that’s affecting the Laker staff. It’s obviously the Jim Buss regime and the absence of PJ.. All we can do is sit back and watch it collapse while this spoiled kid tries to impress his dad with all the wrong moves. Jeanie should’ve been at the helm instead of her cocksuckin brother.

  • Luke Sucks

    People lose their jobs all the time even if they have done nothing wrong.  In this economy, nothing is guaranteed.  It must hurt but life goes on.

    Imagine if the Lakers spent the 6 million they would be giving to Luke on the staff instead.  Six more reasons to get rid of Walton.

  • ARI GOLD

    LIFE SUCKS AND THEN YOU DIE. GET OVER IT AND MOVE ON. YOUR LAKERS SUCK KOBE IS OLD ANDREW HAS BAD KNEES LAMAR IS ON TV PHIL IS FISHING DEREK IS ALSO OLD GASOL IS SOFT SHANNON IS GONE LUKE WHO?

    • True Lakers fan since 1988!

      So you are so pathetic that you troll lakers websites to spew your hate for a franchise that has won 15 titles? I bet you are a LeBitch james bandwagoneer. Get a freaking life and stay off this site if you aren’t a true Lakers fan! Oh by the way……who won two in a row once and three in a row earlier? Now hate on that sucker! Effin loser!

    • True Lakers fan since 1988!

      So you are so pathetic that you troll lakers websites to spew your hate for a franchise that has won 15 titles? I bet you are a LeBitch james bandwagoneer. Get a freaking life and stay off this site if you aren’t a true Lakers fan! Oh by the way……who won two in a row once and three in a row earlier? Now hate on that sucker! Effin loser!

    • Oldmanflow

      You must really have a boring existence if you’re spending your idle time “trolling” around irritating people. Is this how you get back at all those mean bullies who took your lunch money? Life must really suck when you’re dead and don’t know it, so get over it and move on to the next site, loser.

    • Oldmanflow

      You must really have a boring existence if you’re spending your idle time “trolling” around irritating people. Is this how you get back at all those mean bullies who took your lunch money? Life must really suck when you’re dead and don’t know it, so get over it and move on to the next site, loser.

  • Robert

    As Curly Bill said in Tombstone,    “Well, bye”

  • Po8em

    For an orginiation known for it’s class, Jim has destroyed that in less then a month.  First he hires Mike Brown without a discussion with their STAR player.  Then they dont even let Bryan Shaw know, this guy won championships on and off the court for the Lakers…. Not a good look!