Interesting theory by Lazenby. Makes you wonder…
True Hoop: Jerry Buss is a lot of things but fool isn’t one of them.
Isn’t it amazing the way he just trumped Phil and Kobe? They seemed ready for one of those season-long PR wars, with Phil, Kobe, the team and Jeanie Buss lined up against Jim Buss.
That’s just like Phil allied things against Jerry Krause and Jerry Reinsdorf in Chicago in 1998.
Usually, nobody plays this game better than Phil. He eviscerated the Jerries in Chicago with Jordan as his major card, had them begging for mercy by the end of the season. Krause and Reinsdorf still haven’t recovered from that showdown with Phil, who coolly rode off in the sunset after it was over.
Phil had primed the pump this time by getting his pal Sam Smith at the Chicago Tribune to write a column saying Kobe ought to sit out the season. Jerry Buss could see the play coming. So the owner walked into training camp and knocked Kobe almost unconscious. We’ll trade your ass and put it on the table now, Jerry Buss told Kobe in so many words.
Phil was left gulping, Kobe speechless.