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Jim Buss says Lakers are ‘not going to panic’ despite dismal start

Jan 10, 2013, 9:11 PM EDT

Los Angeles Lakers Introduce Mike Brown Getty Images

Panic is a severe word to use where sports franchises are concerned, given the millions of dollars invested in players and coaches and the long-term vision it takes to put together a team capable of competing for a championship.

On paper, the Lakers should have the talent to be in that championship conversation. But injuries to the team’s biggest offsesason acquisitions in Steve Nash and Dwight Howard have at a minimum delayed those aspirations, and may have derailed them altogether.

Only time will tell if the Lakers are unable to dig themselves out of the hole that finds them currently out of the playoff picture. But after already making a coaching change early in the season, the team’s leadership seems content with playing things out with the roster as currently constructed.

Appearing on 710 ESPN radio in Los Angeles on Thursday, Lakers executive vice president of basketball operations Jim Buss had plenty to say about the current state of the team, and stressed that he’s not about to make any rash decisions, especially considering the relatively limited time L.A.’s key players have had on the court together.

As transcribed by Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times:

“I don’t know if we’ve had five games where all our players are playing,” Buss said. “When you have injuries like that, you can’t play enough games together to get chemistry.”

“How can you not believe in this team? This team is built to win and it’s a very, very solid team,” Buss said.  “In my mind, we would not consider a temporary fix or blow it up. Why blow up something that we have a future with?”

“I’m still excited about the team but injuries have played such a huge part in this. I’m not frustrated with the players at all,” Buss said. “Am I upset that we might not make the playoffs? Of course.”

“To panic?” asked Buss. “No, we’re not going to panic.”

That’s certainly good to hear for Lakers fans, considering that a team that has changed its head coach and made a blockbuster trade within the same season hasn’t won a title in recent years.

In L.A., of course, that was the goal once the season began, and it’s still the standard this year’s Lakers squad will be held to, at least to some extent. Right now the team will need to win in the neighborhood of two out of every three games the rest of the way to even make the postseason, but should that happen, anything is possible.

One thing is clear, and that’s the fact that blowing this team up or making any additional short-term changes to win RIGHT NOW is not the answer. This team needs time to play and practice together with its full compliment of players available to see what it’s truly capable of, and panic — at any level of the organization — will only serve to achieve the opposite of the desired result.

  1. shockexchange - Jan 10, 2013 at 9:14 PM

    The Shock Exchange has a saying for moments like this, “Thou doth protest too much.”

    • scottheis82 - Jan 10, 2013 at 11:01 PM

      Please stop… you are a constant reminder of my least favorite Seinfeld episode ” why would George do that”

      • shockexchange - Jan 10, 2013 at 11:05 PM

        Actually I think Seinfeld is on. Why don’t you go watch it?

    • scottheis82 - Jan 11, 2013 at 12:22 AM

      You know what… I looked and it is on. I guess you’re a ” shock exchange” and a TV guide good to have multiple skills in this economy, if it’s all the same to you I’ll pass on the Seinfeld rerun; watching you make a fool of yourself is far more entertaining.

  2. timb12 - Jan 10, 2013 at 9:25 PM

    This team is clearly built for the future. Who wouldn’t want a 40 year old point guard? I hope they pull it together this season.

    • nbascreed - Jan 11, 2013 at 2:06 AM

      Exactly! It’s not like they’re grooming Jeremy Lamb or Damian Lillard…from everything I heard at the start of the season it was win now. If I’m not mistaken I think D’antoni said as much in his initial presser.

      I read here that’s it taken an average of 46 wins to make the playoffs in the west the last 3 years and that to achieve that mark the Lakers need to go 30-18 (or some such) the rest of the way. That’s definitely cause for panic and if it’s NOT then Buss doesn’t need to be in the driver’s seat. The Lakers will lose out on a lot of COIN by not making the playoffs.

      Jimmy Buss’ ego will cost his dad millions of dollars (LITERALLY) in playoff earnings, but blood is thicker than water and always will be.

  3. uscthom78 - Jan 10, 2013 at 9:27 PM

    He lies. He already panicked by firing Brown.

    • aboogy123456 - Jan 11, 2013 at 8:42 AM

      Read what he said, he said they are not going to panic. If you consider the mike brown firing a panic move, well it already happened.

  4. dalucks - Jan 10, 2013 at 9:36 PM

    Sure, you have no reason to panic. The Lakers are on pace to finish 35-47 this season. It is no big deal.

  5. dalucks - Jan 10, 2013 at 9:40 PM

    Jim Buss thinks this team is built to win. Win what? Jim Buss is clueless about basketball. He is lucky his daddy is rich.
    Obviously, Jim Buss is a spoiled brat who has not grown up.

  6. dyn0myte - Jan 10, 2013 at 9:41 PM

    Dear Jimmy,

    The time for panic began when you started making decisions for the Los Angeles Lakers.

    Sincerly,

    The Time Warner Cable Company

    • cosanostra71 - Jan 10, 2013 at 10:44 PM

      I wish Jeannie had more power regarding basketball operations.

  7. BigBeachBall - Jan 10, 2013 at 9:42 PM

    Aquireing nash was a fall back plan… As much as i like nash… Him and kobe are like oil and water.

  8. chargerdillon - Jan 10, 2013 at 9:45 PM

    Not going to panic? What exactly do you call firing Mike Brown a guy who you thought a year ago was the right fit for your team, firing him wasn’t a panic?

    What about flirting with the old successful coach who you purposely blew out the coaching staff to get his presence out of…..talking to him wasn’t in a panic…..

    Bringing in D’Antoni a guy who doesn’t coach defense when defense is your problem……oh you’re in a panic alright, in fact if you weren’t in a panic you wouldn’t point out you’re not going to panic.

    To think this is now the owner of my favorite team……..Jim Buss is making Donald Sterling look like a good owner….and that’s not even funny.

  9. sportsnut101 - Jan 10, 2013 at 9:50 PM

    To late to trade gasol for anything of value Nice going lakers

    Kobe having great season but he’s only one Because he won’t pass ball

    Howard only 7 shots

    Nash only 6. I mean pls. Nash shoots at a high pct.

    Honestly would love to see them trade Kobe. They not winning with him. Anymore. Can’t say it’s other players fault All the time I would laugh if Howard left after season

    • aboogy123456 - Jan 11, 2013 at 8:45 AM

      Yea, trade one of the best players of all time, how will that help? Kobe is keeping this team together right now. Go watch some film and learn something.

    • mogogo1 - Jan 11, 2013 at 4:53 PM

      Gasol would be gone already if they’d gotten a good offer. But he’s been hurt, has looked “off” even when healthy for most of the last two seasons, and he’s not a guy a struggling team would rebuild around. The teams that would really want him are the ones thinking they’re just one piece away who wouldn’t be willing to give up part of their nucleus to get him.

  10. thaoption1 - Jan 10, 2013 at 10:09 PM

    Dr. Buss please make the right decision and place him back in the marketing department. like ASAP

  11. hoodheisman - Jan 10, 2013 at 10:14 PM

    “I’m not frustrated with the players at all”….

    My first reaction when I read this was he sure didn’t say anything positive about the coaching staff. I’d like to get a full transcript of what was said before I jump to any conclusions…. but with Short Buss giving a vote of confidence to the players and not the coaches… combined with Kupchak’s comments last week about how the coaches are struggling…. I don’t see these guys sticking with D’Antoni for the remainder of the season. He’s lost the locker room. When the backups are playing with more energy and purpose than the superstars…. then you know the coach has lost the locker room.

    • aboogy123456 - Jan 11, 2013 at 9:00 AM

      The only player that looks like his heart is not in it is Jamison. Every one else is in it and you can see they are starting to play with more of a sense of urgency.

  12. imthedudedude - Jan 10, 2013 at 10:24 PM

    Excuses are like buttholes, everyone has them, and they stink!

  13. ajsjr40 - Jan 10, 2013 at 10:38 PM

    Old teams tend to have lots of injuries. No excuse.

  14. Gordon - Jan 10, 2013 at 10:45 PM

    Jim Buss is a real life Tommy Boy.

  15. scottheis82 - Jan 10, 2013 at 10:52 PM

    at this point as a lifelong Lakers fan I have to throw in the towel. I’ve dealt with highs and lows, but I this is different at this point we are no longer dealing with a coach or player that we don’t care for. this has to do with the ownership and it’s DNA (pun intended) if daddy doesn’t step in this franchise will be in shambles, especially with the new CBA that is geared toward more balance across the association.

  16. loungefly74 - Jan 10, 2013 at 11:08 PM

    “That’s certainly good to hear for Lakers fans, considering that a team that has changed its head coach and made a blockbuster trade within the same season hasn’t won a title in recent years.”

    whoa…going to the finals 3 of the past 5 years is not recent? WTF man! is this guy ADHD? i mean…you telling me you rather trade that success rate for another team the past 5 years? no way, man. no way. sorry. i don’t abide by the whole theory of…”oh…seasons done, so what if you won…doesn’t matter, new season, you haven’t done sh*t now.” no way, man. i’m still basking in the Lakers’ success. sure…that time of success will run its course soon but not that quickly. heck, the celtics still have reason to pound their chest on their title (but that ends after this year…hehe). i feel the same for the mavs as well (though their fall from grace is crashing faster than expected). tell me what sport has a team win it nearly every year? no one. the Lakers’ success the past 30 years is an incredible “batting average”.

    well…i wouldn’t expect Buss Jr. to say anything else. either we do something great oooorrrrrr…we regroup next season and do our best at a chance at a title. my point? the Lakers don’t stand pat (like most of the league). we might suck big balls right now but its good to know it wont last too long.

    • 00maltliquor - Jan 11, 2013 at 1:36 AM

      GET ‘EM!

    • solitaryog7 - Jan 12, 2013 at 12:22 AM

      I think you misread that sentence. The writer was referring to “a team” and how recently, no team that has changed coaches and made a blockbuster trade in the same year have won a title.

      “That’s certainly good to hear for Lakers fans, considering that a team that has changed its head coach and made a blockbuster trade within the same season hasn’t won a title in recent years.”

      • loungefly74 - Jan 12, 2013 at 10:13 PM

        i stand corrected, sir. thank you.

  17. rgledz - Jan 11, 2013 at 12:18 AM

    I find it humorous that “Lakerluver” doesn’t comment on Laker posts, but is front and center whenever there is a Kevin Love post. I think he must have loved the Minneapolis Lakers and gets confused with the Timberwolves being in Minnesota. Poor guy.

  18. johnflenoil - Jan 11, 2013 at 12:26 AM

    ?Even if the Lakers panic or not, this season is over for them as far as making the playoffs. LAKER NATION, WE OWE THE AGONY OF THIS SEASON TO ” little jimmy buss”. The biggest mistake Dr. Jerry Buss has ever made since becoming the owner of the Lakers is when he turned team operations over to his egotistical, bad decision making son. The Lakers would be in much better shape today if Dr. Buss had turned things over to his daughter. Every decision “little jimmy buss has made has been a bad one.
    Also, while I’m at it, Elgin Baylor should also have a statue outside Staple Center. The fact that he doesn’t would make Chick Hearn turn over.

    • 00maltliquor - Jan 11, 2013 at 1:40 AM

      It’s not over yet! Not ’till we get those disqualifying X’s by our name in the standings at least.

    • marksp18 - Jan 11, 2013 at 8:13 AM

      That CP3 trade was a bad decision wasn’t it. They almost pulled that off and now it is not looking too good for the Hornets either.

      He managed to get Howard and got rid of Bynum. Another bad move.

      Getting Nash may or may not be considered bad but he still is better than Blake.

      Jim Buss may not be too smart but to think he has not done anything right is really not based on any recent facts.

      Contrary to public belief, Mike Brown got himself fired. If you are coaching the Lakers which happens to be a pretty good job in the NBA, then you better get it done.

      • dyn0myte - Jan 11, 2013 at 12:23 PM

        “….to think he has not done anything right is really not based on any recent facts…”

        Nice try Jimmy – but 15 wins and 20 losses are the only recent facts of importance.

  19. tigershark49 - Jan 11, 2013 at 12:43 AM

    Terrible writing. The Lakers have won TWO titles in recent years.

    • solitaryog7 - Jan 12, 2013 at 12:24 AM

      I think you misread that sentence. The writer was referring to “a team” and how recently, no team that has changed coaches and made a blockbuster trade in the same year have won a title.

      “That’s certainly good to hear for Lakers fans, considering that a team that has changed its head coach and made a blockbuster trade within the same season hasn’t won a title in recent years.”

  20. abchome - Jan 11, 2013 at 1:38 AM

    Winter is coming has come…

  21. thraiderskin - Jan 11, 2013 at 2:18 AM

    I think it is time to move on from Jim Buss… The Lakers need to operate like a business and Jimmie boy appears to let personal feelings get in the way. We (as fans) knew Kobe was old, we knew Bynum was more of a liability and we knew all the Lakers’ had for trade bate was Bynum and Gasol. The Lakers should have been looking to the future trying to build something new, not just bring in as many retreads as humanly possible. I know that isn’t the traditional Laker way, but the Laker way isn’t working for us now and unless the franchise gets lucky, it will continue to fail the fans. The Lakers are a great franchise, but what (pro)athlete in their right mind would ever want to end up coming to LA, or California for that matter (what you people vote for makes you insanely stupid), once Kobe is gone and the team has nothing going for it? At this point in time, the team is OLD and has nothing to look forward to for the future.

  22. abchome - Jan 11, 2013 at 3:11 AM

    Had he said he wouldn’t panic after 5 games (2 days before firing Mike Brown), and he probably would after something like 20 games (it’s 35 now)?

  23. texasrug - Jan 11, 2013 at 3:36 AM

    Sounds like Jerry jones

  24. dko83 - Jan 11, 2013 at 3:58 AM

    Mike Brown has to be the only guy in America that’s actually thankful he doesn’t have a job right now..

  25. kachlucca - Jan 11, 2013 at 4:05 AM

    Have read all 28 comments to date. chargerdillon is spot on. Jim Buss is a liability… and this group will never find the chemistry.

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