Ronnie Lester: “Lakers are Throwing Employees out in the Cold”

Pictured: Jim Buss - Photo by Kevork Djansezian | Getty Images

Assistant GM Ronnie Lester has been with the Los Angeles Lakers franchise for the last 24 years. Lester has won eight championships with the Lakers. One as a player, and seven as a member of the Lakers front office.

His current contract expires on June 30th, and the Lakers will say farewell.

According to ESPNLA, On June 30th the Lakers will let go of 20 staffers, including all of the scouts that worked under Lester. There has been little communication between the Lakers and their employees, and their current jobs may or may not be open again down the line.

Lester expressed disappointment on how the Lakers are handling the situation:

“It’s awful funny that the Lakers, one of the highest grossing teams in the league, could do this to their employees, just throw them out in the cold,” Lester said.

It seems all that Lester is asking for is an explanation, and to treat loyal employees with respect:

“The Lakers have not done a good job in communicating that to anybody whose contract has ended,” he said. “Obviously the Lakers don’t want these guys back, don’t want the scouts back, or they would’ve said something in that regard. So I don’t think anybody is coming back. They’ve not treated people well in that regard.” Lester said.

Some may not read too much into Lester’s quotes, shrugging it off as a disgruntled employee.

However, if you have followed the off-season you have seen many instances of a lack of communication on behalf of the Lakers. Jim Buss even admitted that they should have notified Kobe Bryant on their decision to hire Mike Brown, and many have criticized the team on how they dealt with Brian Shaw during and after the hiring process of a new head coach.

David Brickley is a columnist for LakerNation.com and the host of Voice of the Nation, the most listened to Lakers podcast on the web. Find him on Twitter.
  • http://twitter.com/cemiami Carlos Echevarria

    What happened to the post to twitter and/or post to Facebook options for the posts??? thanks

  • razz

    hope this whole transition of power thing works out for the Lakers, cause this aint a good start….

    • daboss1848

      from CLASS A organization to CLASS SCUM organization  . . .

      • Leaderfish

        We have not heard from Buss yet.  Laker fans shouldn’t expect laker employees to be kept during the lockout.  This is a business.   We also don’t know what the employees have been told or what to expect.  All we know is Lester doesn’t like it.

        • daboss1848

          Ronnie Lester – over 20 yrs with Lakers; Rudy Garciduenas – over 20 yrs with Lakers.  Bottom Line – indefensible and inexcusable.  (Important to note, no layoffs during last lockout – under Jerry’s helm)

  • TOM

    man, this is how Jim Buss is dealing with the employees. this guy will loose a lot of interests from other players whom want to come to LA now. I dont think his dad will ever do that

  • Ryan

    Jeanie gotta step in and take over. Jim Buss, sorry, you gotta go. You are ruining what your father built in one single year. Go find a job that suits you and not ruin the purple and gold. Thanks!

  • the raven

    the NBA is a business, we just went through a very difficult recession and they are changing the CBA so the lakers need to make changes.  they should feel lucky that they were not let go of earlier as they were still able to take the hit of the economy with the current CBA…

  • Anonymous

    “Some may not read too much into Lester’s quotes, shrugging it off as a disgruntled employee.”
    Some meaning virtually half of Lakerdom, and therefore 75% of Lakernation.com commenters and 90% of Lakersground.com

    Some people will just not stop drinking the Jim Buss kool-aid. It’s so damn addicting, isn’t it fellas?

    • FatSFIOSF

      Its cumming out of your dick and it tastes sour.

      • Anonymous

        Aren’t you precious? A little homophobic degenerate retard who thinks Laker management can do no wrong. Thanks for proving my point. Now do a barrel roll.

        • WifeLovesLuke

          I want a babe ruth!

  • SKopitar

    very disappointed in how the lakers are handling their employees before and after their contracts expired…. leaving everyone out in the cold not at least saying thank you for their hardwork for example Brian Shaw and company, at least just send them letters and let them go with a blast..

  • KMen13

    The Laker organization just seems so out of wack since Jim Buss has taken over.

  • Ah-10

    Turn the team over to a rich kid and watch it slowly go down the tubes. Where is Jerry West and his management skills when they need him? Oh yeah, they let him get away years ago. Imagine how in a couple of years the Lakers may rival the Dodgers as the poorest run sports franchise in America.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Bird-Munger/558207432 Mike Bird Munger

    Can’t wait to see these classless clowns go down in flames.  This is Karma for all thos titles Stern and his crooked refs GAVE to them.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_PA5NJWC5CK2KR3Y6V7N6YTJRBA nobodyuknow

    Just goes to show you that administrations on every level and in every industry, treats works like shyt!  As a Laker fan, I’m saddened that the callous practices usually associated with corporate business is alive and well in our sport too!

  • hellraiser

    Don’t worry when the lockout is over there will be 20,000 people lined up to fill out applications to replace these people and nothing will have changed except the faces.  Sad but true!

  • MAGICKAREEMSHAQKOBE

    Jimmy boy wants to show everyone there’s a new sheriff in town.  Sad when these rich brats who never had to work a day in their lives get handed the golden key’s and start treating people with no respect.  Jim is going to destroy the legacy his father built and to be honest, It’s also Jerry’s fault for giving it to him instead of Jeanie who actually deserves it.  Oh well, Jim made his money and if he can live with knowing he put the organization in the hands of his douche bag son then screw him too.  Might as well given the Lakers to Donald Sterling!  Prove me wrong Jimmy boy!  Oh wait you don’t even have the balls to talk to the media very often. 

    • MAGICKAREEMSHAQKOBE

      I meant JERRY made his money….

  • TheSa505

    Mabe as fans, we should do exactly what dodger fans are doing and just don’t go to games and stop supporting the Lakers as fan as monetary. But that mite wishful thinking, way to go Jimmy Boy for all your brilliance…NOT!!! IDIOT, HAMM, DORK……….get a clue……

  • Chris

    Maybe Jim Buss is in the process of replacing those scout with his friends who are former bartenders and strippers. LMAO

    The Lakers’ future under Jimmy Buss will interesting…

  • Jay-Rod

    Uh-Oh. I hope this doesn’t foreshadow the downfall of the Lakers all because of bad management. I remember when Jim Buss was one of the guys that actually WANTED to trade Kobe during 2008. Now we see what big mistake that would have been. Eff this guy, man.

    • daboss1848

      Wasn’t Kobe THE guy who wanted Kobe traded?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WZXWXW3GL7E46F7YRHQF7KUQV4 Marc OC

    Little Jimmie Buss takes over and Jerry West and Phil
    Jackson walked away. I think two of the best basketball minds saw what was
    coming and left because they did not want to be associated with the fall of the
    Lakers franchise.

     

    Dr. Buss, your Lakers franchise value dropped by $100M the
    day Little Jimmie Buss was announced as taking over. Little Jimmie fires Brian Shaw
    and the scouts and clearly wants all association with the winning Phil Jackson
    era to scrubbed away.

     

    Instead of the continuity of the fan and player favorite Brian
    Shaw he brings in a retreaded coach. Shaw showed loyalty and could have left to
    become a head coach elsewhere but stayed because he was expecting to be the
    next coach. He earned it and deserved it and you repaid his loyalty by embarrassing
    him and then firing him after all the head coaching positions were filled. If Little
    Jimmie Buss can screw over someone like Shaw then what does he care about the fans
    that sit in the nosebleed section?

     

    Lakers fans immediately think of the once great Rams and how
    they crumbled after Georgia took over. She immediately fired her step son, ran
    off all the “football” people, and put in bean counters. Two moves later they
    are now looking to move out again because the St. Louis fans are still turned
    off by her years after her death.

     

    With Little Jimmie Buss in charge I guess in 2 or 3 years
    Staples Center will become recognized as the home of the Clippers and Sterling
    will be considered the top sports owner in town.

    • Anonymous

      Well thats a cheerful assessment!  The old coach leaves, and new coach has the audacity to actually want his own assistants?  Jim Buss was instrumental in aquiring Bynum in 2006, which shows that he’s be active in the front office during the Lakers 3 finals, and their two rings. The new staff hasn’t even had a meeting with the players, let alone practice and games, but already they stink?  I guess if Jim Buss happens to aquire DHoward or CP3 in the future, that would really p*ss you off!  Have a happy 4th :)

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WZXWXW3GL7E46F7YRHQF7KUQV4 Marc OC

    money doesn’t buy you class or smarts. jerry buss was born with smarts and earned his money, jimmy was born with money and hasn’t shown any smarts.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WZXWXW3GL7E46F7YRHQF7KUQV4 Marc OC

    Money doesn’t buy you class or smarts. Jerry buss was born
    with class and smarts and earned his money; Little Jimmy was born with money but
    hasn’t shown any class or smarts.

  • Robert

    Does anyone recall that recently Kareem was not too happy about being let go, as well?  And also we should bring up the fact that Magic sold his percentage of the Lakers.  It was mentioned that he did this with an interest in majority of another franchise (perhaps the Pistons), or an LA football franchise, but you know .. I wonder if Magic was becoming more disenchanted with Lakers management.  On ESPN, recently (playoffs/finals), he did not make much fuss about the Lakers, like he usually does.

    – signs of things to come.  Magic and Kareem (and Jerry West) disengage with the Lakers.  It’s a new era.  All we can do is wish them luck.  

    • Jets0121

      It’s the Jim Buss ERROR