Los Angeles Lakers struggle, innovative owner passes at 80

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By Usman Siddiui | Staff Writer

Following the 2012 off season drama, the Los Angeles Lakers formed a team that seemed to be a force that would be vicious to any team in the NBA.

They racked up Steve Nash, who is one of the greatest point guards ever to play the game and also exchanged Andrew Bynum for Dwight Howard who is widely recognized as the best big man in the NBA today.

Howard and Nash seem fierce enough but even with these additions, the Lakers managed to hold onto Metta World Peace, Pau Gasol and Kobe Bryant.

These five players alone combine for 33 All-Star Game appearances, four defensive player of the year awards and three most valuable player awards.

However, the season has been rocky since the start as the team fired head coach Mike Brown, five games into the season and replaced him with Mike D’Antoni hoping to bring “Showtime” back.

The team now sits at 28-30, sitting three games behind a playoff spot and fighting just to have a post season this year.

Last week the Lakers longtime owner, who is considered by many to be the greatest owner in the entirety of sports, Dr. Jerry Buss passed away after he battled cancer for 18 months.

The Lakers held a memorial service for Dr. Buss three days after his passing at which former Lakers such as center Shaquille O’Neal, coach Phil Jackson and other current Lakers players such as Bryant and Gasol who spoke in Spanish, gave speeches remembering the great visionary.

Under Dr. Buss’ ownership, the franchise acquired ten of its 16 championships and many players and coaches became legends in the process.

The Buss family will continue to own the team; Jim Buss and Jeanie Buss have both been heavily involved in the team’s front office for several years.

Jim has taken over for the time being as the main decision maker in the front office since Dr. Buss had to relieve some of his responsibilities.

Jeanie Buss has been executive vice president of the Lakers for a few years.

With Dr. Buss’ passing, the Lakers are in search of someone who possesses both ambition and sound decision making like Dr. Buss did.

Jim is the person who assumes this role, but given the choices he has made within the last few years, many Laker fans seem shaky about the idea of having him run things.

During the offseason after the Lakers were swept by the Dallas Mavericks in the 2011 playoffs, Buss hired Mike Brown to replace Jackson without consulting Bryant.

Brown was fired five games into this season and was replaced by D’Antoni, though Jackson was once again available.

Buss has seemingly also taken over some of the personnel moves that take place within the team.

Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak is known for making great trades at the right time, but at times has made some bad moves.

The city of Los Angeles and Laker fans are accustomed to seeing their team not just win consistently but win championships at a consistent rate.

Lakers fans are not the most patient of people and despite the obvious fact that Jerry Buss cannot be replaced, they want to see the winning culture restored and see the Los Angeles Lakers rise once again to the prestigous platform they once dominated.

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