Heisler: Jerry Buss wanted his organization back

Jerry Buss to Phil Jackson: Enjoy your retirement, big guy. 

The Lakers say Jerry Buss, Jim Buss and GM Mitch Kupchak decided the triangle wouldn’t be as good as pick-and-rolls and picked the droll guy with the West Virginia accent who’s relatively conventional but has 11 fewer titles than the Zen Master of Disaster.

Fat bleeping chance.

Here’s what we know for sure: As the Lakers-Kings game ended Sunday night, Mitch Kupchak called D’Antoni’s agent, Warren Legarie, at home.

“Let’s do a deal,” said Kupchak, according to LeGarie.

“C’mon, Mitch, you’re not using us, are you?” said a stunned LeGarie, according to LeGarie.

Kupchak assured him he was in earnest. LeGarie pulled himself together and a deal was soon done.

“We were as surprised as everybody waking up and reading about it,” LeGarie said the next morning.

If Jerry, Jim and Mitch may well have agreed a flowing, unstructured offense was better than the triangle for their team, Xs and Os are a thin basis for dropping a coach with 11 titles like a hot rock.

What else could it be?

No. 1, this has “Jerry Buss” written all over it. Only Jerry is decisive enough, and powerful enough, to turn this around on a dime.

From the decision to fire Brown immediately to the decision not to take the well-worn path to Jackson’s place in Playa Del Rey, this is about Papa Bear stepping in to help his cub at this critical juncture.


  1. says

    mark! come back to LA! Ur the best Laker writer we ever had! u and chick hearn taught me more about the nba than all my other sources. i don’t understand why they let u go!

  2. DaveKnows says

    Everyone was shocked about this move but when I first heard about Phil back with the Lakers I thought the triangle wouldn’t be as unstoppable as it once was because it wouldn’t play to the strength of this team as currently constructed. I think the sweep to Dallas also played a big factor. They probably looked at enough Nash in Phoenix tapes an thought that Nash would excel under Mike more than under Phil. Howard would have a hard time adjusting to triangle and Steve would be on he perimeter shooting threes. They liked what the saw in Phoenix and wanted that hear and I actually think they will dominated in reg season in Mikes system. Gasol Howard and Kobe all like to play with their back to the basket and a system with constant picks and rolls will overwhelm most of their competitors.

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