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Jerry Buss says the Lakers are not cutting costs. Very true — on the court.

Aug 6, 2010, 12:45 PM EDT

Thumbnail image for jbuss.jpgRight now, as you are reading this, the Lakers have a payroll of $91,906,072 for next season (thank you Sham Sports).

That is more than $500,000 higher than the Lakers payroll last season, which was already higher than any other team in the Association. And we are underestimating Shannon Brown’s salary by roughly $500,000. Plus the Lakers have yet to sign second-round picks Devin Ebanks and Derrick Caracter, which will push the Lakers payroll for next season to the $93 million range.

So all that talk about the Lakers cutting corners, Jerry Buss laughs at it. As he told Scott Howard Cooper at

“I don’t know where that came from really. We didn’t ever have a meeting and say, ‘OK, let’s slash payroll.’ We sat down and said, ‘How can we improve this team?’ And basically we came up with (Steve) Blake and (Matt) Barnes. We were really exceptionally happy and thrilled to get both of them at a decent price.”

Did anybody really expect the Lakers to cut player payroll? Nobody sane. Buss likes to win, is too competitive to cut a team off at the knees in the middle of a championship window.

But make cuts other places to help? Now that’s a different matter.

Phil Jackson admitted that he was going to have to take a paycut to return as Lakers coach, and he did. We don’t know (yet) what his salary for next season will be, but Buss is saving some money there.

There are other places in any business where costs can be cut. Moves on the business operations side that fans would never really see or notice.

But the Lakers are not looking to slash payroll. Well, unless they can trade Sasha Vujacic for a couple picks.

  1. T. Rogers - Aug 6, 2010 at 2:31 PM

    Thank you Dr. Buss for always trying to keep a competitive team on the floor. I have loved the Lakers since I was six years old kid (1982). An owner that wants to win just as much as his players is the only kind of owner a fan wants. Your spot in the HOF is very much deserved.

  2. soma - Aug 6, 2010 at 4:05 PM

    Dr. Buss is the best owner in any sport franchise in the world as good or even better than Manchester United. He never cut cost. Hire to best and loyal staff. and Pay the best reasonable price for his players. Run the organization with heart. Remember when Lakers pay for all medical expenses for Turiaf even before he made the team and still paid that knuckled head Radmonovich when he lied about snow ski. The most important thing is he run the team as one of the fan. Thank you.

  3. BIll-Sonora - Aug 6, 2010 at 4:23 PM

    A well run organization. Glad to have the Lakers here in L.A.
    Lets see how long it takes the Laker Haters to infect this good story with their cancer.

  4. BleedLakersPnG - Aug 6, 2010 at 6:53 PM

    This is what makes Jerry the greatest owner in sports history.
    Winning is the only thing that matters.

  5. Kobe is the best - Aug 6, 2010 at 9:24 PM

    All those celtic fans that were talking trash during the Finals are long gone. So are the Cavs fans. Thanks Jerry!!! Let’s get that 3Peat!!!

  6. LogicMan - Aug 6, 2010 at 10:51 PM

    At least he is getting results for his spending. There are a number of teams in the 80 – 90 million dollar range who have not won yet.

  7. Sal - Aug 6, 2010 at 11:47 PM

    You can have an owner of a professional team like like the greatest of them all in Mr. Jerry Buss. Or the other owner from the Clippers, enough said.

  8. Omnius - Aug 7, 2010 at 10:24 AM

    Jerry Buss has done a great job as owner of the Lakers during his tenure, one of the winningest pro sprots franchise owners of all time. I’m glad Jerry was able to save some money on Phil Jackson’s contract so he could spend more on players. I’m glad that Steve Blake, Matt Barnes and Theo Ratliff signed up as new Lakers hungry for their first championship rings. The Repeat World Champion Lakers will Threepeat next June!

  9. Mike - Aug 9, 2010 at 2:54 PM

    So why DID Mark Heisler write two pieces ripping Dr. Buss at the start of the summer for planning to not use the exception and for planning to dump Lamar Odom for salary purposes?
    Was it to pre-emptively shame Buss into not cutting costs?
    Was it hack journalism?
    Was it Buss’ plan until Miami signed the 3 Amigos and his competitive juices got stirring again?
    Either way it was a smear on Doc Buss, who has consistently paid for talent if the team was in position to contend.

  10. christopher boozer - Aug 9, 2010 at 7:27 PM

    Mr. Buss thank you for continually building the Lakers as the winningest franchise of all times. I have been a Laker fan for thirty years and I have watched my team continue to soar at higher peaks and it’s because of a owner who is not just in it for the money but is a fan of his own team and loves to watch them as well as us. Thank you jerry Buss

  11. Linda Singleton - Aug 9, 2010 at 8:05 PM

    Dr. Buss is what every owner should be. He is a motivator to his team and happy teams succeed. Like it or not, the Laker franchise is the BEST in the league. The guys that were suffering in this league for many years without anything to show for it, come to the Lakers and manage to get it done. An owner like Dr. Buss comes around once in a blue moon. Bless you Dr. Buss!

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