Photo by Kevork Djansezian | Getty Images

A controversial off-season has seen the Lakers hire a new head coach without consulting with their star player, unceremoniously parting ways with assistant coach Brian Shaw, and as Assistant GM Ronnie Lester put it the “Lakers are throwing employees out in the cold”.

Author Roland Lazenby joined the Voice of the Nation on Thursday night to discuss exactly what is going on in the Lakers organization. He intimated that the loss of Phil Jackson and the rise to power of Jim Buss could have a major negative impact on the organization moving forward.

“Tex Winter told me that Jim Buss had a different way of doing things and i heard comments behind the scenes by people who said things may get difficult for the organization once Phil left…Just the way the employees are being treated we’re seeing the beginning of a huge gap in the wake of his leaving” Lazenby said.

It has been well documented that Lakers center Andrew Bynum was Jim Buss’ draft pick and is “his guy”, however it has never been up for discussion who the leader of the Lakers team is, Kobe Bryant. However, Lazenby believes that the hiring of Mike Brown could signal a changing of the guard (or at least the desire for a changing of the guard), and even hinted that Jim Buss’ rising influence within the organization could have been one of the factors that led to Jerry Wests’ departure from the organization 10 years ago.

“Jerry West kept looking down the road as the way things were headed and was uncomfortable with it…The biggest message that Jim Buss has sent with the hiring of Mike Brown is that this is the ‘Drew Bynum era and this is ‘Drew Bynums’ coach.” Lazenby said.

A very interesting quote considering that when asked about Andrew Bynums’ touches on the offensive end of the floor going into next season, Kobe Bryant was quoted as saying, “Im going to shoot the ball, Pau is going to get his touches. He’s no. 2. And then [Andrew] will have to fall in line.”

One of the more interesting revelations the Roland Lazenby told the Voice of the Nation is that Jim Buss does not have a close working relationship with many of the Lakers employees and often times does not even see them:

“Jim Buss doesn’t even really have an office. He’s spent time with these people [laker employees] but he’s apart from things and hes going to have a different style than his dad.” Lazenby said.

For an organization that has been known as one of the classiest and most professional in all of pro sports, it has not been a banner off-season to say the least.  It is very possible that everything that has gone on is a minor bump in the road and the Lakers will continue their decades long success. However, so many drastic changes in just one off-season could possibly offset what has taken years for Dr. Jerry Buss to build.

Rarely in sports does cleaning house in an already successful organization bode well for that franchise moving forward. Fans of the Purple and Gold should hope that for the Lakers sake, they will be an exception rather than another victim of the rule.

To listen to the entire interview with Roland Lazenby, download Voice of the Nation #145

  • Craig W.

    The comment about Jerry West’s leaving is pretty strange. In his book he described a worsening relationship between West and Jerry Buss, followed by bringing in Phil Jackson – who demanded almost complete control – as being the primary forces pushing Jerry West out the door. Now the story is changed to include Jim Buss???

    • Stevej

      It would make sense for West to leave if he did see some writing on the wall with Jim Buss. Although the quote doesnt say that West left because of Jim Buss coming to power, it says he was uncomfortable with the direction the organization was going. That could mean it had something to do with both the feud with Phil AND possibly Jim Buss gaining more influence.

      • Steviej

        …and one of the factors of the worsening of the relationship between Jerry Buss and Jerry West may possibly be rooted in Jim getting more juice.

        • 123KID

          ya maybe West saw it forth coming that Jim was on the rise to take over the family business and Jerry West probably thought to himself he better leave before all hell breaks loose. 

          • lakerss

            but jerry west is still part of the lakers in a what do u mean by him leaving?

          • rondo

            None of you dudes know what the hell you are talking about!

          • OhHellNo!!!

            Rondo…get off Jim Bob’s cock you faggot. Stop talking trash you hater! 

  • Margarite

    If you guys was Rich who would you let take over your team? Jerry West, Phil Jackson your son or your jumpoff? would you give it to your Daughter who’s in love? Tell me who would you give your team too? Easy question when you don’t have to make the decision.

  • Laker Warrior

    the change so far has been bad, It has affected this team  the guys dont respond to Jimmer because his  no player. With Jerry West  he had his reputation to back .
    Now with the hire of Clown Brown this Laker team is in trouble Mike Brown cant coach.
    When he won coach of the year the East eas a joke the lakers played Orlando and destroyed them.
    After that Clevland was the best team Really, He could run a offense having La Bron if his nuts counted on it

    • rondo

      Man stop crying like a bitch! Jim Buss is rich son of the owner he don’t give a damn what your ass is saying, Fool if your word meant anything you ass would be working with the Lakers. You make no sense fool!

      • OhHellNo!!!

        Rondo…get off Jim Bob’s cock you faggot. Stop talking trash you hater! 

  • Jim Buss

    All you insects shall bow down to me now!

    • OhHellNo!!!

      Jim Buss looks like Chris Griffin from Family Guy with the stupid cap and blonde hair…LMAO

      • rondo

        he has a black hat and plenty of MONEY. something you wish you had.

        • OhHellNo!!!

          Oh damn…U got me there. I wish I do wish I had his money. But, I don’t want his stupidity. I have a great idea…why don’t you get off Jim Bob’s cock you faggot. All you do is talk trash and you stop crying hater! 

  • Pingback: Rumor: Kobe forced to share Lakers with Bynum? – | Kobe Bryant

  • Bob

    The Lakers are ALWAYS the exception.

  • Pingback: Bynum será o foco « LakersBR – O site de noticias do Los Angeles Lakers no Brasil