Little Doubt Buss is Running Lake Show

HOOPSWORLD.COM: For once, Kobe Bryant wasn’t doing the talking.

Perhaps that’s why, for once, it was worth listening.

Having sat back and taken the best shots from Bryant and his media sycophants, Lakers owner Jerry Buss presented the other side of grumpy-guard-gate.

Basically, it came down to this: I’m still in charge.

Touche.

Say what you want about the Lakers’ treatment of Shaquille O’Neal; say what you want about the team’s relative lack of personnel activity these past two seasons; and say what you want about the depths to which the franchise has fallen, but you have to say something about the way Buss has fired back.

When Bryant signed his seven-year, $136 million deal in 2004 he held the cards, issued the demands, had O’Neal clearing out his locker, and had the Clippers stocking their shelves in case he arrived.

So Buss paid the going rate.

But now? Now Buss holds the cards.

Continue reading ‘Little Doubt Buss is Running Lake Show′

Jaime is the co-owner and Operating Director for LakerNation.com from Alhambra, CA. He's help create the official websites for Kevin Durant and Goodwin Sports. Currently, he's the Online Producer for FOX Sports Radio and AM570 KLAC.
  • BEC

    Its amazing how much an idiot this writer is. Yeah you can slightly down play the opt-out option that Kobe has like it doesnt mean much, but thats even pushing it. Why the hell would this person stupidly down play the the no-trade clause like its nothing? Buss doesnt hold the cards in this situation, Kobe does. Kobe brings in the fans, brings in the money for this organization, and has all the say in world in where he gets traded. How he says Buss holds the cards is beyond me and this person had the stupidity to say “enjoy life in atlanta or oklahoma city”, thats not even a possibility. Im guessing his lack of basketball knowledge and stupidty cant possibly understand the idea of a no-trade clause. Buss can hold him here for the next two years but what good does that do him. Lose him for nothing? Yeah Kobe wont be able to sign as much if he opts out but im sure he wouldnt mind taking less money if he can leave an organization that lied to him and leave an organization that he doesnt even trust.

  • lakerfan81

    BEC I disagree. I do think that Buss holds the cards. He doesn’t have to trade Kobe. Kobe has some cards to play but ultimately if Buss doesn’t like what is offered Kobe does not have to be traded. Also in two years it will be very difficult for Kobe to opt out and sign somewhere. What team will have 20M in cap space to sign and be a contender. So ultimately if he wants to leave he needs the Lakers help. Unless he will sign for MLE or vets min which is doubtful. Will he get traded to a team like Atlanta, probably not but Kobe doesn’t get to choose where he goes.

  • fatty

    Trash piece built on a false assumption that Kobe has been mouthing off on a continual basis. We all know that’s not true, even the writer does which doesn’t matter to him.

    Bec and lakerfan81 give much better insight than this ‘phoney’ writer.

    My take: Kobe holds all the cards except one. Buss doesn’t have to do anything for two years.

    If Kobe wants to be traded, but holds the ‘No trade clause’ and limits the Lakers option to 2-3 teams, it makes it almost impossible for the Lakes to satisfy Kobe’s demand. Kobe would have to expand his wish list if a trade happens sooner, rather than later.

    Dr Buss stated Kobe will probably opt out if not traded. His hope as he stated, was a sign and trade. Two things could happen with a sign and trade. Kobe gets a good salary and the Lakes get at least something in return. Not necessarily what they want but something. The Lakes can still say no if the players are not to their choosing. If that happens, then we are back to where we started. It would appear then, Buss holds a trump card. But only if Kobe wants the big money deal. If Kobe is willing to play for less, then the Lakes have nothing over Kobe.

    That’s the question. Will Kobe play for less? I think he will. All indications are Kobe is leaving because he feels betrayed and he wants to play for a contender. The only way that happens, is Kobe will have to take less NBA salary.

    Two ways he takes less money. One could be a sign and trade for let’s say 10 mil. The signing team gives the Lakes a salary match. That way they are not hurt too bad. If the Lakers say no, then Kobe can threaten to take the MLE and the Lakes would get nothing but a little cap relief.

    Another way he takes less, is Kobe says yes to MLE 5.5-6 million, then Kobe can choose any team he wants. As we have seen many players doing recently.

    With Kobe, he actually makes considerable money in endorsement ads. That could rise with going to a contender and possibly dwarf what he makes in NBA salary. If that is the case, he really wouldn’t lose any money at all.

    With Kobe, its not about the money like KG proved to be. He wants to win and with that, all the glory that comes with it. He also has a stubborn streak, perhaps just stubborn enough to opt out and take less.

  • fatty

    Salary cap relief if Kobe opts? Not necessarily.

    Current team salary is 70 million
    Minus Kobe’s current salary of 20 million
    Brings Lakers team salary to 50 million
    Salary cap is 57 million
    That gives the Lakers 7 million to sign a Free Agent under the cap rules.

    (these are today’s numbers and would change only slightly in two years)

    Kwame’s 9 mil will be gone but offset by raises in current Laker players

  • fatty

    The point I’m trying to make is we don’t know exactly how much we would have to sign a FA. But absolutely will not have Kobe’s 20 plus mil to sign someone, at the very best, half of that.

    Not much in the FA market.

  • lakerfan81

    Fatty You are neglicting the fact that Odom’s salary is also up in two years/ Brown’s is up this year. Mihm also might not be around then as well. So if it would not be too difficult to create cap space if Kobe leaves.

  • fatty

    We will sign Odom. So his salary will still be on the books. You have to have players to put a team out and compete. Very little will change in salaries between now and then. To propose what you are thinking, we would be risking not having Odom and Kobe. You also forgot to take into account we have players that require large raises like Bynum and others.

    Your proposing a Minnie like gutting of team salary which wont happen during the next two years. For sure would chase Kobe out and lose the fan base as well.

  • TheLAunit

    KoBe PLLLEEEEAAAAASSSSSEEEEEE STay and finish your career in LA!!!!

  • foxxy

    [quote comment="14595"]BEC I disagree. I do think that Buss holds the cards. He doesn’t have to trade Kobe. Kobe has some cards to play but ultimately if Buss doesn’t like what is offered Kobe does not have to be traded. Also in two years it will be very difficult for Kobe to opt out and sign somewhere. What team will have 20M in cap space to sign and be a contender. So ultimately if he wants to leave he needs the Lakers help. Unless he will sign for MLE or vets min which is doubtful. Will he get traded to a team like Atlanta, probably not but Kobe doesn’t get to choose where he goes.[/quote]
    OH,BUT KOBE BEAN BRYANT DOES HOLD THE WINNING HAND…HE CHOOSES WHICH TEAM HE GOES TO!!!