Despite the overwhelming history of his organization, and the great teams that have represented the Lakers in the past, Lakers owner Jerry Buss thinks this season’s Lakers team will be the best Lakers team ever. (LA Times)
He’s expecting a lot. “As of now, I feel there’s a good chance this could be the best team we’ve ever had,” Buss said.
But if the Lakers don’t win a third consecutive championship, Buss might have some buyer’s remorse.
“You hate to say it that way, but that’s what it comes down to. You get to a spot where you have to win it all to be happy,” he said. “Some time ago, I’m talking to some people and they wanted a bonus if the Lakers make the playoffs. I said, ‘If they don’t make the playoffs, you don’t work here anymore.’ “
All due respect to Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom, but is Jerry Buss serious? The best Laker team ever?
The 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers featured Hall of Famers and top 50 greatest players, Jerry West and Wilt Chamberlin. They won 33 consecutive games and an NBA championship.
The 1986-87 Lakers started Byron Scott, Magic Johnson, James Worthy, A.C. Green, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Kurt Rambis, Mychal Thompson and Michael Cooper came off the bench. They won 65 games and defeated the Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals.
The 2000-2001 Lakers started Derek Fisher, Kobe Bryant, Robert Horry, Rick Fox, and Shaquille O’Neal. They won just 56 games, but marched through the playoffs like General Sherman marched through the South on his way to the Atlantic, losing just one playoff game, defeating the Philadelphia 76ers in the NBA Finals.
I could go on, but you get the point. There have been some fantastic Laker teams in the past, and adding Steve Blake and Matt Barnes to last year’s team does NOT make them the best Laker team ever. Not even close.
Aside from making ludicrous statements about his team, Buss said he looked forward to the continuation of the Lakers-Celtics rivalry, especially since the Celtics signed Shaq.
The Lakers have won 16 NBA championships, one behind the Celtics, who are trying to win another one with a veteran-laden team that now includes a certain ex-Lakers center.
“Shaq and Kobe [Bryant] have a little thing going as to who wins the most rings, and so Shaq signing with Boston sets up a potential showdown,” Buss said. “I like the drama. I think it’s fabulous. You can’t help but love Shaq. He’s a very funny man. Sometimes he gets a little carried away in his analysis of former employers. But outside of that, he’s quite a guy and we look forward to it.”
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