Buss, Lakers Need To Let Dwight Go



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HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – Sooner or later, the Los Angeles Lakers will move on from the pain and suffering associated with the brief Dwight Howard era — later being the operative word here. Because once again, the drama is being stirred by someone in the Lakers’ camp in regards to Howard and just how authentic a Laker he was in his one season in L.A.

Lakers executive vice president Jim Buss fires the latest verbal shot at Howard in an article in The Hollywood Reporter by Ric Bucher that examines the fabled franchise and their current state of affairs in the post-Dr. Jerry Buss era. Times have certainly changed:

Jim insists he’s just following his father’s blueprint, but the Howard situation suggests he missed a page. Instead of Jim spending time with Howard, the team launched a widely derided media campaign that implored “Stay” on billboards. After Howard bolted, Jim turned on his former star, saying he wasn’t surprised or dismayed. “He was never really a Laker,” says Jim. “He was just passing through.”

Those close to Howard say the Lakers could have persuaded him to stay. Even Jeanie believes that if her father had not been sick, he would have sealed the deal like so many before it. “It’s disappointing that Dwight isn’t here,” she says. “I feel like we failed him.”

Clearly, Jim, Jeanie Buss, Kobe Bryant, Magic JohnsonPhil Jackson and anyone else who has ever been associated with the franchise is being asked about Howard incessantly. A simple no comment is in order now. The continued examination and assault on Howard’s character has bordered on ridiculous for weeks now.

Bottom line: the Lakers aren’t doing themselves any favors by answering every question about Howard. He’s moved on to whatever the future holds in Houston. The Lakers need to move on as well. They need to let him go, set themselves free from this drama and concentrate all of their effort on the very real rebuilding campaign that needs to be begin with training camp.

And for the record, they knew that there was a very real possibility that Dwight was “just passing through” when they acquired him via that blockbuster trade last summer. There was always that inherent risk with a player with Howard’s track record. Their miscalculations, their choices (Mike D’Antoni over Jackson to replace coach Mike Brown) are what made the situation untenable for Howard when free agency hit. So blaming him in hindsight for not falling for the disingenuous “stick around, we love you” campaign is weak.

This talk now is just as beneath the Lakers as the whole billboard campaign was when they were trying to convince Howard to stay.

To her credit, Jeanie Buss takes a much more measured approach to this whole thing and it is her words, her tact and, ultimately, her voice that should rule the day inside the franchise on Howard. I’m sure her sensibilities were offended when Howard spurned the Lakers for the Rockets. But you can tell by her response. She insists that the Lakers somehow didn’t handle their business the way should have, the way they would have if her father was spearheading the recruiting charge.

She’s right. Things likely would have been different.

But the Lakers cannot dwell on what might have been anymore. They have to move on and get back to the grind, the same way Howard has in Houston with Hakeem Olajuwon and Kevin McHale.

The Lakers need to let Dwight go once and for all.

57 Comments

  1. awefna says:

    he never really was a Laker… its true

  2. armydreamer says:

    i love this game! i think the lakers need a strong big man center!!

  3. RBPBNS says:

    Teams “dispose” of players all the time. They shouldn’t make that big of a deal when players “dispose” of them like D. Howard just did with the Lakers. Lakers were a great team and a great franchise. Not these days though. Maybe 10 years from now…

  4. pray for Egypt says:

    We were very sad when bomb destroyed Boston :’( , all media, reporter, TV, newspaper, magazine talked about that,, but where are we when there are thousand people died in Syria, in Egypt, why the media just silent????

  5. Bill says:

    Your only saying that because Dwight didn’t stay in your “FATHERS BALL CLUB” poor Buss..

  6. J says:

    that’s right

  7. Sage says:

    quit whining, Smith. Howard isn’t a child looking for protection.

  8. sports fan says:

    Jim Buss will only point the finger at others & never at himself. As long as he is there the Lakers will never win a championship. So many people think the Lakers can make the playoffs as high as a 6th seed. IF they make the playoffs the only spot they’ll get is the 8th seed, if they’re lucky. And Jim Buss is completely responsible for this.

  9. josh says:

    What a debacle the Lakers have become. It wouldn’t surprise me if Kobe went elsewhere when his contract is up.

  10. cjjists22 says:

    it seems to be that jim should not have been left the keys to the corvette!

  11. thefan says:

    the laker ship is slowly sinkin, sad to see this is how kobes career will end..so management thinks that the best thing to do is let this season go by, kobe comes back maybe wills the team to the playoffs, they exit the first round, maybe he might break down again physically…i mean obviously this season is a bust…and then while all this is goin on their betting on 2014 free agency? lol who would really wanna come to LA and not be the star while you have ego-maniac kobe still playin? apart from melo or lbj who are in much better places to win a ring than LA, who else is out there for them to take in and compete to win a ring? im sorry but the days of Lakers are over, been over since the hiring of mike brown…smart thing to do is accept the fact, get rid of the worthy pieces and rebuild just like celtics are doing..

    • yolo says:

      They wont rebuild until kobe retires, they will pretty much do anything to get kobe a 6th ring.

  12. bormasina says:

    Jim Buss, just do us a favor, let the Jeannie do the talking for gods sake … Go sell some popcorn, or do something other that talking … Or better, just quit the position and let the lady do the business, you do not seem very good at what you are doing now … Just let Jeannie take over, please …

  13. cris says:

    I’m not a Dwight Howard fan and a huge Lakers fan but if there’s anyone who is messing up the Lakers it is Jim Buss.

  14. ImJusSayin says:

    I think Jim buss is the worst thing to happen to the Lakers in a long time. That being said, I don’t think Antoni or Jim wanted Howard back anyway. I don’t think Jim’s plan is a good one but I do give him credit for pursuing it in the right way. Everybody said the coach they brought in did not match the players and it didn’t, so this off season the personnel were better matched to the coach so I don’t knock those decisions. If Kobe comes back injury free, If nash can pull from the fountain of youth, if Antoni can meld the personalities, If Hill can become Antoni’s Stat, The Lakers may surprise everyone.
    BUT That is a lot of damn IFs Jim.

  15. Read This says:

    Dwight Howard era? what Era?

  16. candiapplez says:

    The Lakers have let it go. All of the media people need to let it go and stop asking about Dwight. The media is keeping the drama going by bringing it up every time they get a chance. If they start saying “no comment”, they will get criticized for that too. Everyone has predicted the death of the Lakers, but we will be back stronger than ever!

  17. Luciano says:

    Wow, did you really censored my comment?

  18. qwerty says:

    what is the interest of posting an article about this subject ?
    Sekou have to make is stats ! we got it.
    “The Lakers need to let Dwight go once and for all” alright Sekou, so please stop bringing back the subject every week too

  19. M. DALGART says:

    THE LAKERS needs to focus on the upcoming Season and the Future. They knew that Dwight Howard might not
    sign an extension, when they agreed to the One Year, yet they pursued him regardless. They are handling this, in a very amateurish matter, blaming Howard for their own failures. THE LAKERS are an “aging” team like the BOSTON CELTICS,
    and a few other NBA Teams, yet they realize that they too need to focus on the Future.
    The “Showtime Lakers” are gone, it will never happen again. Most players don’t stay with their Teams, as in the past.
    Get over it, and focus on the Future. Most other NBA Teams, are better prepared, and realize that Championships,
    are not that easy to come bye, it takes “Rebuilding” and patience for a few years. Stop blaming others,
    and start with a Positive Attitude, and THE LAKERS will achieve much better results…

  20. Laker KT says:

    The Laker downfall started when they swapped Trevor Ariza for MWP. That one move made them instantly old and slow. Hiring Mike Brown, hiring Mike D’antoni, letting Lamar go for nothing, signing an old washed up Steve Nash. Even though they won the title with MWP I would rather have Trevor. Jim Buss is ruining a great Franchise!!!!!!!!!!

  21. Da King says:

    They are making the playoffs at 6-8. I still believe they can if this is there line up:
    Starters: Back up:
    PG: Steve Nash PG: Steve Blake
    SG: Kobe Bryant SG: Jodie Meeks
    SF: Elias Harris SF: Nick Young ( 6th man )
    PF: Pau Gasol PF: Ryan Kelly
    C: Chris Kaman C: Jordan Hill

    Decent team

  22. kobe ballhog says:

    Dont worry lakers fans, Mr. GBE is still here to the rescue, as long as greatest ballhog ever still rules the laker land ill score tons of points to make you all happy

  23. Oakley34BLAM says:

    Amen Sekou. They knew they were trading for a player in the final contract year. On top of that…they didn’t even give up much to get him. As “bad” as Howard was last year (rebound leader) he tried to play through pain, through some pretty bad decisions regarding coaching, and through playing with players not near 100% (Nash, Gasol, Bryant all has significant injury). Oh, and the piece they gave up didn’t play a minute last season. I am not a huge Howard fan, but Buss is acting like a spoiled child.

    • D_Will says:

      There’s just too much hate around the NBA lately. People need to understand the word “FREE” in free agent. The Lakers, rather if you agree or not, did things that “Howard” didn’t like. Considering the fact that they didn’t have the best season last year, no one should blame Howard for freely chosing a new team as a “FREE” agent.

  24. Unkle Daddy says:

    The Lakers have made nothing but missteps since Jim Buss took over, and I am thankful for that. Now, I get to see Kobe wallow in the mire his last couple of years.

  25. NBAFAN says:

    Jim’s worrying too much about stepping outside of his Dad’s success but because of that and trying to seperate himself and form his own “legacy,” his legacy will ultimately be a losing one. He’s running the prestige of the Lakers to the ground. Do the lakers REALLY not care about D12 leaving? Really? I mean you cared enough to call him out, cared enough to have the alumni say stuff. All the hate to D12 is unwarranted and not being pointed at the right person. He was unhealthy majority of the season and still put up double double numbers.

  26. Hank says:

    Jesus the Lakers homers are out in force.

  27. caloyski says:

    MOVE ON LA! MOVE ON LA!

  28. B Radd says:

    $119 M 5 years DeMarcus Cousins!

  29. JJ (Rockets Fan) says:

    WOW, LAKER FO ans FANS ARE DELUSIONAL SPOILE. Seriously this really getting scary. Howard has said NOTHING, nothing bad about the Lakers since he left. He has been a complete gentlemen in all of this and I’m actually surprised by this. The Lakers look like a bunch of immmature brats. You want a star to stay la? How bout not tearing him down when he is injured? How about not blaming the future of your franchise on everything bad that happens while simultaneously treating Kobe like he is the second coming. How about getting a coach that the future of your franchise actually likes, that might be helpful since that is one of the reasons why he wanted to leave Orlando. At the end of the day be nice, treat him right. Do you know how many articles I read with Howard being blamed for everything last season. WHY WOULD HE WANT TO STAY? THAT IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU TREAT PEOPLE LIKE THEY ARE NOTHING. Let it go LA. Let it go.

    • bunbury says:

      JJ. agree with some of the things you wrote. Howard was not 100% and should have not been criticized that much. that being said he is also very immature. he wants the offense to go through him (as first option) but he wasn’t capitalizing. as a coach, what should you do? run the offense in a certain way just to keep Howard happy or try to win. and let me tell you Mike D’antoni was under a lot of pressure to start winning games. if I remember correctly, D’Antoni tried to implement an offense that will keep nash, gasol, howard, and kobe happy. IT WASNOT WORKING. D’Antoni finally decided to put the ball in the hands of one man, Kobe, and that’s when they started winning. the Rockets though might have an easier job though– they will be more interested in keeping Howard happy than winning games.

  30. Bunbury says:

    Coward? LOL. listen, we all know what Dwight brings to the table. and yes, the lakers wanted him. it was a risk acquiring him, everyone knew that. a lot of things went wrong last year, but to me the biggest mistake was acquiring nash. there is a reason why the suns let him go. the guy is done and should retire.

    p.s. don’t forget howard was never 100% last year.

  31. Dante says:

    Don’t you think Kobe Bryants negative influence had anything to do with Howard’s leaving ?

    • Nick says:

      Negative influence? You mean champion demeanor and work ethic? Or maybe the pressure to be mentally tough?

      • skrutz says:

        He was a negative influence. I agree he is a champ and has amazing work ethic, but he’s also self-centered and his personality doesn’t mesh with very many other players – especially a goofball like Howard.

      • justsayin says:

        Looking pissed off all the time doesnt make you a better player.

  32. Ratrix says:

    Sekou needs to let Dwight go

  33. FrankL2010 says:

    Howard? why spending so much time on this guy… there are players a lot better than Coward but no write-ups has been made on them and those guys are even more mature than this “Howard”.

  34. Tony says:

    I dont think Lakers really wanted to resign Howard, The guy is not a franchise player for major market like Los Angeles.

  35. Bruce says:

    Nothing the Buses, Lakers, or coaching staff said that took a shot to Dwight. Stop writing these lame articles.

  36. dave says:

    Lakers let it go the second he left. Its just that you are looking for something to write about and keep your job.

  37. Dave says:

    Jeanie Buss sounds like the only sane one of the bunch. Maybe Jim should step down and let her run things. Lakers are going down hill fast with Jim Buss in charge. Jerry Buss would have NEVER posted signs around town pleading for a player to stay. Nor would he ever bash a player for deciding to play for someone else as a free agent. Jim Buss is a wimpy little man and has no business being in the position he is in. And I’m not even a Lakers fan… but I don’t like to see a team failing due to upper management being a bunch of tards…

    • the biggest mistake he had was signing D’Antoni….if he had Phil Jackson or Brian Shaw…then Howard would still be here and the lakers would be winning many championships

      • caloyski says:

        Its not the Coach , its the Owner that’s somewhat inneffective

      • bballjunkie1 says:

        Down hill Lakers started by hiring Mike Brown, then coach D. The real laker Jerry West is eating popcorn and watching the movie, what a circus it has become.

      • bballjunkie1 says:

        Down hill lakers started by hiring Mike Brown. Mr Laker himself Jerry West is eating popcorn and watching the movie. What a circus it has become.

      • Elesa says:

        They were actually going to fire D’Antoni.., but the Lakers started winning games. *cough,refs,cough*

    • Meenomi says:

      She’s a smart woman and she knows how to not burn bridges. She inherited Dr. Buss’s intelligent genes, while the other one just inherited a position that came with the last name.

    • Bunbury says:

      Leave everything at the hands of a women and she will ruin it all.

      • Shaniqua B. says:

        That’s a very sexist comment to make. Jeanie Buss seems to have a better business sense then her brother and she probably would have made better decisions. The fact that she is woman would not make any difference.

      • MFFL41 says:

        Yeah man don’t be a D-bag… but hey if the lakers are going down who cares let them i’m sick of their fans thinking their S*** don’t stink