Jim Buss (Lori Shepler / LAT)Thanks to Steve for sending us this article from the LA Times! Again, if you guys see anything Lakers related that you think deserves to be put up, just e-mail us at GetGarnett@gmail.com.

Los Angeles Times: Kobe Bryant looks at the dearth of talent surrounding him on the Lakers roster and seethes with frustration. General Manager Mitch Kupchak, seeing the barriers facing him in terms of the salary cap and trade possibilities, seeks to publicly lower expectations. Coach Phil Jackson, surveying the situation, puts off contract-extension talks.

Bleak picture for a storied franchise?

Not if you talk to the new kid on the block, Jim Buss.

OK, so at 47, he’s not a kid. And he’s hardly new, having spent nine seasons in the Lakers front office, learning the family business.

He may not yet have broken into the public consciousness, but, be assured, the training wheels have come off. Designated by his father, Jerry, as the future head of the basketball side of the operation, Jim is making his presence felt, voicing his opinion in the councils of power. And that opinion, according to those around him inside and out of the organization, is that the sky is not falling on Laker land.

Just the opposite. Jim is optimistic, if not realistic. And long term, it is his opinion that will count most.

It is his sister, Jeanie, who is the public face of the next generation of Busses. She’s the one dating the head coach, running the business end, creatively planning team ceremonies and prominently seated behind the courtside celebs.

Jim prefers a more low-profile role, usually sitting in his father’s box in the upper level behind the baseline, or chatting amiably in the media room.

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