If there is one thing we have learned over the past couple of years about Jim Buss, the son of owner Jerry Buss, is that since taking greater control of the team’s personnel moves, he is loyal to the guys he has brought into the Lakers organization. The old-timers in the organization? A bunch of them have been let go in the past two years.
Even before that, when the Lakers had a chance to trade Andrew Bynum for Jason Kidd a few years back, Buss wouldn’t do it — even if it displeased Kobe Bryant, which it infamously did. Buss like to take credit for “finding” Bynum when the Lakers drafted him straight out of high school, and we won’t let go of him easily (Dwight Howard would be about the only thing that would do the trick).
Similarly, Buss is the guy who brought in Mike Brown to replace Phil Jackson, and there’s little chance the Lakers are going to dump Brown even if they are swept out of the second round by the Oklahoma City Thunder. The younger Buss doesn’t abandon “his guys” — of which Brown is one.
Probably the only thing that could undermine Brown would be Bryant going to the senior Buss and demanding a change. And Bryant has given no indication that he is anywhere near that displeased (unless he whispered it to Magic Johnson, who started all the recent Brown conjecture by saying on ESPN Brown would be fired if the Lakers lost Game 7 against Denver). What Bryant was upset about Wednesday night was not getting the ball on the final play when Metta World Peace inbounded to Steve Blake instead. If Bryant has a beef with anyone today, it’s Metta.
I discussed the Brown situation and other NBA playoff topics in this video report with CineSport’s Noah Coslov.